Frugal Friday: Fasting

by Mary O. Moss

Have you ever considered your choice to live frugally as a fast? God has been putting on my heart that I should reframe how I view my fugal lifestyle—to think about consuming less not as a deprivation, but as a spiritual discipline. Even if living a frugal lifestyle is less out of choice than it is a necessity, we can adjust our attitudes and what we portray to the world about our lifestyle.

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.  But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.  Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matthew 6:16-18 NIV).

One thing I notice almost immediately when I visit most “frugal living” blogs is these folks are joyful!  They may have disadvantaged lives – facing foreclosure on their home, a physical disability or simply having made the choice for one of the parents to not work outside the home to rear children.  We don’t always learn the background of the individual—just that they have embraced frugal living with a passion. They all share one other thing—almost without exception: they want to share their joy! indicates, “For most people in North America, and the upper classes all over the earth, the most important fasting may be to fast from being a consumer of goods, for our role as a consumer consumes us spiritually.”

“Fasting is ‘praying with the body,’ an affirmation of one’s hunger for God and his will, an act of spiritual discipline, and an assertion of the goodness of God in creation, which one appreciates better in abstention;” (John Mark Ministries).

I’ll bet you haven’t thought about your life and your lifestyle as affirmation of your hunger for God and His will! But when we consume less, whether food or material goods, we have less to fill up our lives and so we have more room for God.  Frugal living, with a proper attitude, tells the world we trust God to provide for our needs—physical and spiritual.

Two really amazing women whom I have befriended—one a fellow frugal blogger and the other an artist—have embraced this concept of fasting/frugal living. Edie Moore at Rich Gifts answered God’s call to offer her services for whatever the customer could afford.  The other is a frugal blogger, Lori Felix, at More With Less Today. She relates that one of her reasons for desiring to live on less is to give more to others.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,” (Philippians 2:4-6 NIV)

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  1. Kim Avery says:

    Hi Mary,

    Wow. I love the bold clarion call you are sounding encouraging us to embrace simplicity with joy as a service to our Lord and to others. It stands in stark contrast the daily American message of “more, more, more and bigger is better” and reminds us of what is truly valuable in this life.

    Thank you.

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