Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How Do You Know That A Man/Woman Is Cheap?

Let me start by explaining that what people mean by being cheap is that you do not like to spend. Yet there are two ways of being cheap: cheapness due to selfishness or cheapness as a good steward. Some people are cheap because they refuse the zeitgeist.

Those who are selfishly cheap do not buy new clothes; only used clothes, never have anything nice, do not eat good food and are allergic to vacations, pleasure, leisure and others. They drink from everyone but they never offer you a beer. When you ask, they tell you that they just became born-again so they don’t buy people alcohol. They only buy for themselves and no one else. If they want to buy you Christmas gift they try to buy the cheapest vase.

I remember Mpeng Ngolo- a man who was too cheap that he could not offer anything new to his friends. For his friend’s birthday, he ordered a broken flower vase over the internet thinking that when it will be shipped to his friend, he will think that it got broken while in transit. Unfortunately, the seller for good customer relations appended a little note that read: “I have carefully wrapped every piece of the vase separately so that they do not get more damaged. That will enable you to reglue them easier”.

They want gifts but never give to anyone as summarized “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter (Is 56: 11).

However, there is a certain cheapness which is not bad. Clark Howard is a man who is cheap but it is not a bad cheapness since he buys new clothes at least. He buys his things on sales and knows how to use his money. The Bible scorns at those who are ostentatious and extravagant “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches" (Prov 13:7). Such is a waste and actually evidence of bad stewardship.

Clark Howard is specialized in teaching people on how to save money and those who do not know him will think he is cheap. There is no pride in buying expensive things. Buying expensive things does not mean they are good or durable. One should learn how to buy shoes that can last them for at least 4 years. At times just because you buy an expensive thing does not mean it will fit you. Look at the stars and see what they buy as clothes; pure rags that even if you give me for one dollar or for free I will not even take. Sometimes they wear those expensive things and still look like some African masquerades.

I lived in a former neighborhood where neighbors put Christmas lights months ahead of Christmas. I did not put it so one of my neighbors bought some lights for me. I told her I was not going to put them but if she wants she could leave them here and I will give them to the needy. She told me that I was cheap.

In March, I was passing by her house and realized that for more than a week the whole house was dark and quiet. I stopped by one day from school to greet and chat. The kids told me that mommy had gone out. So I asked them why they were living in darkness. They told me that their electricity and gas were cut off because mommy didn’t pay. I called the gas and electricity company, and remitted almost $400.00 for the expensive woman.

To be cheap actually is a virtue rather than a vice. Those who love pleasure, wine and drugs actually end up being poor (Prov 21:17). Sometimes it baffles me to see those who want to prove that they are not cheap give their money to the rich. The Bible says give to those who don’t have!

Until then, being cheap is not a bad thing.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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