"Gather Up the Fragments." --Christ once gave His disciples a
lesson upon economy which is worthy of careful attention. He wrought a miracle
to feed the hungry thousands who had listened to His teachings; yet after all
had eaten and were satisfied, He did not permit the fragments to be wasted. He
who could, in their necessity, feed the vast multitude by His divine power bade
His disciples gather up the fragments, that nothing might be lost. This lesson
was given as much for our benefit as for those living in Christ's day. The Son
of God has a care for the necessities of temporal life. He did not neglect the
broken fragments after the feast, although He could make such a feast whenever
The lessons of Jesus Christ are to be carried into every phase of practical
life. Economy is to be practised in all things. Gather up the fragments, that
nothing be lost. There is a religion that does not touch the heart and therefore
becomes a form of words. It is not brought into practical life. Religious duty
and the highest human prudence in business lines must be co-mingled.
Follow Christ in Self-denial. --In order to become acquainted with the
disappointments and trials and griefs that come to human beings, Christ reached
to the lowest depths of woe and humiliation. He has travelled the path that He
asks His followers to travel. He says to them, "If any man will come after
Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." But
professing Christians are not always willing to practice the self-denial that
the Saviour calls for. They are not willing to bind about their wishes and desires in order that they may have more to give
to the Lord. One says, "My family are expensive in their tastes, and it
costs much to keep them." This shows that he and they need to learn the
lessons of economy taught by the life of Christ. . . .
To all comes the temptation to gratify selfish, extravagant desires, but let
us remember that the Lord of life and glory came to this world to teach humanity
the lesson of self-denial.
Those who do not live for self will not use up every dollar meeting their
supposed wants and supplying their conveniences, but will bear in mind that they
are Christ's followers, and that there are others who are in need of food and
Economize to Help God's Cause. --Much might be said to the young people
regarding their privilege to help the cause of God by learning lessons of
economy and self-denial. Many think that they must indulge in this pleasure and
that, and in order to do this, they accustom themselves to live up to the full
extent of their income. God wants us to do better in this respect. We sin
against ourselves when we are satisfied with enough to eat and drink and wear.
God has something higher than this before us. When we are willing to put away
our selfish desires and give the powers of heart and mind to the work of the
cause of God, heavenly agencies will co-operate with us, making us a blessing to
Even though he may be poor, the youth who is industrious and economical can
save a little for the cause of God.
When Tempted to Needless Spending. --When you are tempted to spend money for
knickknacks, you should remember the self-denial and self-sacrifice that Christ endured to save
fallen man. Our children should be taught to exercise self-denial and
self-control. The reason so many ministers feel that they have a hard time in
financial matters is that they do not bind about their tastes, their appetites
and inclinations. The reason so many men become bankrupt and dishonestly
appropriate means is because they seek to gratify the extravagant tastes of
their wives and children. How careful should fathers and mothers be to teach
economy by precept and example to their children!
I wish I could impress on every mind the grievous sinfulness of wasting the
Lord's money on fancied wants. The expenditure of sums that look small may start
a train of circumstances that will reach into eternity. When the judgement shall
sit, and the books are opened, the losing side will be presented to your
view--the good that you might have done with the accumulated mites and the
larger sums that were used for wholly selfish purposes.
Watch the Pennies and Nickels. --Waste not your pennies and your shillings in
purchasing unnecessary things. You may think these little sums do not amount to
much, but these many littles will prove a great whole. If we could, we would
plead for the means that is spent in needless things, in dress and selfish
indulgence. Poverty in every shape is on every hand. And God has made it our
duty to relieve suffering humanity in every way possible.
The Lord would have His people thoughtful and caretaking. He would have them
study economy in everything, and waste nothing. The amount daily spent in needless things, with the thought, "It is only
a nickel," "It is only a dime," seems very little; but multiply
these littles by the days of the year, and as the years go by, the array of
figures will seem almost incredible.
Do Not Emulate Fashionable Neighbours. --It is not best to pretend to be
rich, or anything above what we are --humble followers of the meek and lowly
Saviour. We are not to feel disturbed if our neighbours build and furnish their
houses in a manner that we are not authorized to follow. How must Jesus look
upon our selfish provision for the indulgence of appetite, to please our guests,
or to gratify our own inclination! It is a snare to us to aim at making a
display or to allow our children, under our control, to do so.
Personal Experience in Mrs. White's Girlhood. -- When I was only twelve years
old, I knew what it was to economize. With my sister I learned a trade, and
although we would earn only twenty-five cents a day, from this sum we were able
to save a little to give to missions. We saved little by little until we had
thirty dollars. Then when the message of the Lord's soon coming came to us, with
a call for men and means, we felt it a privilege to hand over the thirty dollars
to father, asking him to invest it in tracts and pamphlets to send the message
to those who were in darkness. . . .
With the money that we had earned at our trade, my sister and I provided
ourselves with clothes. We would hand our money to mother, saying, "Buy so
that, after we have paid for our clothing, there will be something left to give
for missionary work." And she would do this, thus encouraging in us a
Practice Economy From Principle. --Those whose hands are open to respond to
the calls for means to sustain the cause of God and to relieve the suffering and
the needy are not the ones who are found loose and lax and dilatory in their
business management. They are always careful to keep their outgoes within their
income. They are economical from principle; they feel it their duty to save,
that they may have something to give.