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AZhombre thoughts on "Provident Living". PS, please don't forget- "Pay It Forward, Free Groceries Day" 7 days following official RV, worldwide!
Just as my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents learned vital lessons through economic adversity, what we learn in our present circumstances, can bless us and our posterity for generations to come.
I know of a great man, who grew up during the Great Depression and as a boy learned how to serve others. Often his mother asked him to deliver food to needy neighbors, and she would give homeless men odd jobs in exchange for home-cooked meals.
Later as a young local church leader, he was taught by another great man to “Be kind to the widow and look after the poor” as quoted in “A Provident Plan - A Precious Promise.” He looked after 84 widows and cared for them until they all passed away.
Today, our children and grandchildren are growing up in times of economic uncertainty. And just as our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents learned vital lessons through economic adversity, what we learn now, in our present circumstances, can bless us and our posterity for generations to come.
Unfortunately many today have lost their freedom to choose due to the effects of ill-advised choices of the past. Poor choices that have led to excessive debt and addictions to food, drugs, pornography, etc. all diminish one’s sense of self-worth, and all these excesses affect us individually and undermine our family relationships.
Obviously some debt is necessary to provide for a family. Unfortunately however, additional debt is incurred when we cannot control our wants and addictive impulses.
The hopeful solution is the same - we must turn to the Lord and follow His commandments. We must want more than anything else to change our lives so that we can break the cycle of debt and our uncontrolled wants.
Our challenges, including those we create by our own decisions, are for our experience and our good. Each temptation we overcome is to strengthen us, not destroy us. The Lord will never allow us to suffer beyond what we can endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).
All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways.
To provide PROVIDENTLY, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies. When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others.
Next time you’re tempted to buy a present for someone else, imagine the recipient of that gift asking you the following question: “Are you buying this for me or for you?” In other words, is the recipient asking, “Is the purpose of this gift to show your love for me or to show me that you are a good provider or to prove something to the world?”
Are you thinking less about them or more about you? Perhaps it’s time to have a serious life-changing discussion about provident living, and agree that your money would be better spent in paying down your home mortgage and adding to our children’s education fund.
The following is the essence of provident living. When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don’t need it - and we really don’t even want it!”
There’s an equally important principle underlying these lessons: we can learn much from communicating with our husbands and wives. We can help each other become provident providers and teach our children to live providently as well.
The foundation of provident living is the law of the tithe. The primary purpose of this law is to help us develop faith in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Tithing helps us overcome our desires for the things of this world and willingly make sacrifices for others.
Tithing is the great equitable law, for no matter how rich or poor we are, all of us pay the same one-tenth of our increase annually and all of us receive blessings so great “that there shall not be room enough to receive [them]”(Malachi 3:10).
The appetite to possess worldly things can only be overcome by turning to the Lord. The hunger of addiction can only be replaced by our love for Him. He stands ready to help each one of us. “Fear not,” He said, “for you are mine, and I have overcome the world”.