I recently read Effortless Savings, which I reviewed last week. The book was a fairly typical spend-less type of book, which I have read several of. However, the tag line of this book (“A Step-by-Step Guidebook to Saving Money without Sacrifice”) really bugged me.
It took me a while to figure out what about it bugged me. Then it occurred to me: I have largely adopted an attitude that we should sacrifice in order to conserve resources (both personal and communal). While I understand the appeal of saving money without having to give up anything that I enjoy, I don’t think that is something we should necessarily be striving for.
I think the desire to not sacrifice is quite common, so I please don’t take this blog post as speaking against Effortless Savings or Richard Syrop, but the cultural values that makes such a tagline appealing to potential readers.
While I often fail, I make it my aim to use as little as possible in order to give more. Because I have so much room to grow in this area, it has been possible for me to significantly improve in this each year…and I’ll be able to do so for years to come.
That said, I don’t want to go so far as being a spartan monk. God has given us great beauty and luxury in this world, and if we reject simply to reject it and not in service to a higher goal, we dishonor Him. But by giving up what we could rightfully claim, in order to bless others in His name, I believe we can better honor Him. After all, when we sacrifice in the little things, we’re echoing Jesus’s great sacrifice on our behalf.
My thoughts on this are constantly evolving (and hopefully maturing). I’d love to hear what you think.