Using This World, Not Abusing It

“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: … and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” I Corinthians 7:29-31.

Son, “Bigger barns are not Better”. The rich fool thought that storing more crops and building bigger barns would bring him satisfaction. He was a fool, not for being a good farmer but for thinking that his abundance would feed his soul and give him a blessed life. Things do not satisfy. Moving toward financial freedom does not mean you are going to have more toys, it means freedom from the bondage of debt. It means breaking away from this worlds value system. It means learning to live a simpler life style.

I have a cartoon that I keep in my camper; it shows a man standing with arms outstretched, on a hilltop looking at a beautiful view. He says to his wife, “Martha, isn’t it so good to leave it all behind!”

Parked behind him is a large ‘pusher’ motor home with a TV dish on top. No, he was not leaving it all behind, but rather he was trying to drag it all with him. The bigger the motor home, the more stress and upkeep.

Son, financial freedom comes with a change of values and a change in thinking. Instead of trying to “keep up with the Jones’,” I have learned to put to good use what the Jones’ discard. I have learned to hold all possessions lightly. I have learned that the best things in life are free.

Learn to Live Simply
I learned to live within your income–in fact to live below my income. Son, learn to live on 75% of your paycheck. Give God 10%, Give 5% in offerings and donations to the poor. Put away 10% as savings. You say you can’t–I say that you can for I have tried it. From the time I decided to retire I put all pay increases into savings and lived on the income I made in 1984.

Think Savings–Not Spending
I pick up pennies and pop cans. We eat out only about once a week, the rest of the time we eat at home and my wife prepares the meals “from scratch.” It is cheaper and it is also healthier. My wife sewed most of her clothes as well as the children’s. I have been told I am too tight. Yes, but I also have financial freedom, do you?

“There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up” Proverb 21:20.

Use This World
I learned very early that this world was into buying and then discarding. Garage sales are an American institution.

I use what others throw away. Many people love our home but they do not know that the foundation which has sixteen corners was formed up for the concrete using 3inch flooring that someone threw away. This same flooring was then used on the sub-floor. We buy second hand and then make it do for years. My sister-in-law, Beth Reynolds, one of the best-dressed ladies I know, buys her clothes at the Salvation Army. She furnishes the apartments of newly weds from the same high priced store. My wife buys groceries when it is on sale and religiously clips coupons. We buy at garage sales that which others thought they could never live without, then decided they really didn’t really want.

Don’t Abuse this World
Son, learn to use wisely what the Lord has given to you. Don’t be part of this throw-a-way society. Look for only that which you need. And then keep it. Buy second hand, but buy quality items, items which will last. What God gives to you, manage well and you will always have enough. “Waste not, want not”.

Hold all Possessions Lightly
Remember that you came into this world with nothing and you can not take anything with you when you leave. On an airplane somewhere in my travels I saw this sign, “In case of an emergency evacuation–please leave the carry-on luggage.”

Recommended reading: Master Your Money by Arlo Moehlenpah

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