A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing with a friend about so many things such as the music we play as a band, how good homeschooling is for kids, politics in the Philippines, educating the youth, and our financial literacy advocacy. The most interesting part of our discussion was about stewardship and frugality, two of the things that I truly believe and share to other people.
My friend told me about his father-in-law who lives in a posh village in the southern part of Metro Manila. His father-in-law owns 30 properties or so around the Philipppines but drives a very simple car. Which means he can buy any of those expensive SUV’s available around the Metro but prefers not to.
He uses an old school cellphone (the one with flashlight and FM radio) instead of smartphones that many people under the classification of “poor and not-so-poor” show off to their friends and frenemies alike.
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Check out my post “We’re Using Cheap Cellphones, So What?”
My friend agrees with his father-in-law. He said that he would even choose a good second-hand car over a brand new one for practical reasons. And I share the same view and sentiment.
Do you want to know why it is not good for you to show off especially if you don’t have the cash? Here are some of the reasons my friend and his father-in-law gave.
1. You become a subject of jealousy. Many people will surely get jealous of your high-end smartphone or your extravagant shoes. Yes, it’s your right and hell yah, you’re helping the economy. But tempting your friend to buy or borrow money just to get the same pair of shoes that you have may cause financial distress to him or her or their families. Leave the financial burden to yourself and do not tempt your friends and loved ones.
2. You will be the thief’s apple of the eye. Unlike my friend’s father-in-law who lives in a secured village, your house may be located in a place where you are your own security guard. Your dark street may be the kingdom and paradise for snatchers. Why risk your life for these?
3. You may lose your privacy and become the talk of the town. Many people will talk about you and that expensive thing that you bought. Well, you will say I don’t care what people say. But I tell you, you will. And it will be a big concern for you, your kids or family members in the future.
4. You will not really be happy about it. Other people may be impressed at least for a while. And you will too. Later on you will regret that decision of buying that mundane item because a more important financial matter needs to be settled. And you don’t have the cash anymore.
5. You will not benefit anything from showing off . You will fantasize about it before and after buying it. But soon your fantasy will become a nightmare. You won’t gain anything from such an interaction other than emotions fired up on both you and other people’s side — jealousy and pride. And neither of these two are good qualities for you to show off.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” – 1 Peter 3:3
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