On a basic level, if one spends eight dollars a day on a sandwich made in a restaurant he or she will spend a great deal more in a week than if he or she spent 16 dollars for groceries at the beginning of the week to pay for all of the week’s lunches. In other words, there are ways to spend money that not only enable one to make the most of the money, but essentially create abundance. This is the basic principle of investment. One of the most special aspects of investment is that its value can be found in almost every area of life.
For example, tithing is an investment into the community. No matter how much one thinks the cash flow is too tight, or there is not enough to pay for the bills, one is still obligated to tithe, to demonstrate the awareness that complete independence is a fallacy and God’s economy requires communities to support its members. Tithing increases the vitality of the community, which ensures the livelihood of the community’s members. There is another level to investment:
When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. The first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.'
Luke 19:15-17, NIV
When you invest a small amount with the intention to make it grow, you can be entrusted with the abundance you receive. Yeshua is teaching that it is better to begin as a slave and invest properly so that you can be entrusted with much more. So then, frugality is about being faithful with what you have and making it grow. All of this must be done honestly and without becoming selfish. Nevertheless, abundance is not the enemy. But enslavement to wealth and “things” makes one unworthy to be more than a slave in the Kingdom of God. May we all approach frugality with the goal of being trustworthy with abundance.