Are you stingy or frugal? There is a distinction between them, but it is very easy to be blindsided and cross the line from frugality into stingyness.
From Proverbs we read 23: 6-7
Don’t eat a stingy person’s bread,
and don’t desire his choice food,
for it’s like someone calculating inwardly.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
Merriam-Webster defines stingy:
1-sparing or scant in using, giving, or spending
2.meanly scanty or small
Frugal is defined:
1-careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to
2-simple and plain
Recently, during our Bible reading time, we read the story about Laban and Jacob. Not familiar with this story? Let’s review. Jacob worked 7 years for Laban’s daughter Rachel, but Laban gave to him Leah instead. Thus Jacob worked an additional 7 years for his beloved Rachel. Laban is Jacob’s father-in-law. Leah and Rachel are Laban’s daughters. By the time we get to Genesis 30 – there are 11 grandsons.
Jacob asks for freedom to leave and take care of his own household – and Laban in chapter 30 verse 27 has consulted divination and learned that his wealth is a result of the Lord’s blessing on Jacob. Laban doesn’t want Jacob to leave.
The story continues in Genesis 31. I encourage you to read the rest of this story.
A few things stood out to me:
- Laban was stingy. It was not about blessing Jacob or his daughters or his grandsons. It was all about protecting his wealth.
- Laban wasn’t seeking God – he sought out divination. God blesses those who fear His name – who live out His commands. Laban missed the blessing of God – by not seeking Him only. How many times do we seek and embrace the world’s input rather than God’s word?
- Spiritual opposition can and does come from family members, but it is God that gives and takes away. God will bless those He chooses – regardless of the faithfulness or faithlessness of your parents or grandparents.
- Not only did Laban lose wealth – but he also lost his family. At the end of chapter 31 – Laban kissed his grandchildren and daughters and left.
May we who believe and call on the name of Jesus – May we seek to be a blessing to our descendants. May we seek God and Him only in everything. Father God, keep our feet from evil. Amen.