Thursday, December 05, 2013

Making Choices or Excuses?

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."   ... 2 Corinthians 9:8


So I read an article last week which horrified me. Gah. A Christian woman gave excuses and Bible verses, even, why she believes poor people can't help but be poor and why wealthy financial advisors (specifically) just don't understand poor people and 'never the twain shall meet.'

Oh, the excuses!

In fact, I felt so horrified that, afterward, I rushed here to my blog and read through lots of my posts, searching to see if they, too, contained such blame and hopelessness. And you know? If I'd found much of that, I just may have shut this thing down. Forever.


I mean, how helpful would I be if I spread tales that God prefers His kids to be poor and unable to give to the needy or pay their own bills? (Actually He tells us to owe no man anything but love.) What kind of a parent would I be if I preferred that Naomi struggle financially? Am I spreading hope if I write an article (as this woman did) citing 'logical reasons' that poor people eat only bad food because it's cheaper and cannot exercise because they can't afford gym memberships?

Uh, no. (What about becoming a coupon/shopping/nutrition expert or exercising at home or walking around your block?)

Maybe it's a clash of personality types or something, I don't know. But whenever I read this sort of thing (which is, sadly, often) it wakes me up at night. I find myself preaching in my dreams and to my pillow, nearly.

How dreadful, that we-can't-help-it-cuz-we-are-victims attitude. It stops all good things.

Ever since I was a (strange) little kid, I'd read 'how to' articles and search in them for ways I could better myself. If a piece gave ways to improve my speaking voice, I'd practice those steps rather than whine, "This advice won't help my sorry voice."

Rather than thinking, "I'll just have to wait until I'm grown-up before I can have a nice room," I'd rearrange my bedroom similarly to magazine photos, craft an odd looking dressing table or ottoman--then step back and feel enchanted by the new look.

Later, when I read articles about how to supplement your husband's income, I'd choose the ideas which I was capable of. I never tossed them aside, muttering, "That writer just doesn't understand my own sorry personal circumstances."

I'd do a sort of "separating the chaffe from the wheat" thing rather than throw-out the whole article if I disagreed with one or two points.

Never lose your imagination and a can-do spirit!  And always believe that God is a father who provides for His kids (because He does). Never let anything or anyone snatch your faith. And please, please don't sit on your couch wishing things were better or waiting for them to just get worse.

Pro-activity and always believing for the best and making choices rather than excuses! That is my advice today...

... and now that I've written this, perhaps I can stop waking-up in wee hours, preaching to my poor ol' pillow.


 "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"   ... Matthew 7:11

"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you."   ... Proverbs 4:6

"I have been young, and now am old, yet I've not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread."   ... Psalm 37:25


God is a wonder at showing us how to create what we need or want ... if we'll listen to and prefer His ways, ideas and techniques.

Never give-up on something God started!

All day long, if you must, repeat, "I can do this! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


"Complain and remain."   ........ Joyce Meyer


Anonymous said...

Agreed...but some folks are definitely smarter at finding solutions...and today with computers available to all (yes, if you do not have one, use one at the library for free)...we can learn from others. I have learned gobs from a little gal the age of my children who runs the blog called moneysavingmom...what a smart cookie who learned how to survive when they were terribly poor. I do think there is a need for someone/someones to teach classes on how to cook cheap and nutritiously. Home Ec is not a required subject as it used to be. I learned not only from my mom and grandmas, but from my Home Ec teacher...good survival skills. But if you have a computer these days, no excuse not to be able to manage better. But you know too, it does take time to better our instant gratification society, maybe we lack patience and determination too...

Yes, I intimated helping our children out...we have and do and will, so long as we possibly can!! But then too, none of ours, EXPECT it...that does make it easier,too, Debra. I have friends who have some children that are pure and simple just users. Fine line between helping and enabling perhaps...
Blessings, Elizabeth in NC downsizing still... :-)

Debra said...

Elizabeth--yep, the library is a wonderful resource as it's always been, especially now that they have computers. Free books and free computer usage!

And yes, it does take time to learn things, but I'm a firm believer in the saying, "We do what we really want to do" and well, sometimes we just want to make excuses rather than step up to the base and swing. When God gives us something to do, He always provides the time to do it--what remains is that we seek Him about spending our time the right way.

Oh, and actually when I mentioned Naomi's name, it didn't even occur to me the thing about giving her money. What I really was referring to was that Bible verse I included at the bottom, the one about God being a better and more loving parent than we humans. :)

Thanks for commenting! Seems we're on the same page about a lot of things. Blessings, Debra

Mary said...

Oh Debra, My childhood sounds alot like mine :-) I was just musing the other day about a dear friend who is quite wealthy (and a very generous soul) That I never envy her. I fear I would lose so much of the creativity I love if I never had to pinch pennies. It would be nice to never have to worry about my daughters medical bills.... but I am working on that too. God has always provided and will continue to do so. Thanks for the great post Debra.

Echoes From the Hill said...

I also have a problem with people who, in essence, make excuses, instead of looking for ways to improve a situation.

Feeling sorry for one's self does not motivate one to succeed. Looking at people with money, and being angry or envious just keeps one in limbo.

Some of my happiest and most productive, and creative, times of life were when I had the least amount of money. I created some fine meals and gifts with very little money. We had beautiful, expensive clothing, all purchased for pennies on the dollar at Goodwill and garage sales.

A positive frame of mind and looking at less than optimal conditions as a challenge, to rise above, can lead to a very positive outcome.

I have a family member who grew up in family with very little. At times they were nearly destitute. He decided as a child, that he was going to get an education and succeed. At 10, he starting doing odd jobs, and saved his money. By age 29, he had earned a PhD and has a very successful career. Two of his siblings live hand to mouth and complain about how life is unfair. Attitude makes a huge difference.


Debra said...

Mary--yep, we're definitely kindred spirits of creativity! :) I'm glad you see God providing for you!

Nancy--Loved your relative's story! Thanks for sharing--that's the kind of thing I see over and over and have come to the same conclusion that--truly--attitude makes all the difference. (And really, as I've mentioned before, you should have a blog! You'd be great at it.) :)

Thanks, Ladies! ... Debra