What Does ‘niggardly’ Mean?

I have been called niggardly. Just last year in fact. It was by a dentist who did 2 root canals for me. OUCH! to the dental work, not to the name calling.

Dictionary.com defines the word niggard this way:   an excessively parsimonious, miserly, or stingy person.

I can definitely be that way.

I decided not to be offended when he said I acted niggardly. I knew what it meant. I am a niggard. I cannot deny that fact.

Why? In a word, it is because of fear. I feel I must be frugal because it is my contribution to our household finances.

I used to contribute financially, up to half of our income. I am an RN, an unemployed one, but an RN nonetheless. Until next spring, that is. For the first time in 31 years I will be letting my license go. It has been over 20 years since I have worked as an RN. I think it is time to let that part of my life go.

That is a big step both for me and for Todd. You see, we always considered my license an insurance policy of sorts. If something were to happen to Todd, I would go back to work. Yeah, right!

Where is the faith in that? For that matter where is the faith in being parsimonious or stingy or niggardly? None of them are pretty words. Okay, maybe parsimonious is. At first glance it looks like a combination of ‘persimmon’ and ‘harmonious’. I assure you it is not.

Do I not believe my Heavenly Father will take care of our needs? Truthfully, sometimes I have doubts, fears even. I have to call doubt and fear sin.

When I fail to surrender part of my life to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when I want to control because it is scary to yield, I am keeping an idol in my heart. Placing value on my ability to earn or save money above trusting the Lord to care for me is covetousness. The Bible says coveting, or wanting what I don’t have is idolatry.  Making or saving money, is not sin. Worry over it is.

1 Peter 5: 5b-7 says, ““God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

I believe that. I really do. I don’t always act on it, though.

I am very proud of holding an RN license. I am proud of the work I did in the past. I earned that license, and a reputation when I was working.

Do I want to be known as Lesa Husmann, RN? Or, Lesa Husmann wife of Todd; mother to Sarah, Abigail, Lindsay, Olivia, Anna, Andrew, and Henry; grandmother of eleven. Or better yet, do I want to be simply known as: Lesa, child of God?

If all were to be taken away from me, I could still have peace knowing I have Jesus Christ for my personal Savior. I said could on purpose. I almost said, ‘would’. I don’t know that I would instantly have that peace. I do know that it is available to me.

I never doubted that my earthly father would take care of me. Why then should I desire to hold onto money? I have a Heavenly Father that has proven over and over that he loves and cares for me infinitely more than my dad does.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;  he will never permit  the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:12 ESV

Lord, I have no righteousness in myself. In Christ, though I am robed in white, cleansed from all sin. Forgive me for my doubtful ways. I want to be your humble and true child.


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