As a good friend recently reminded me, if you’re reading this blog its probably because you want to grow. Your drive is above average. You want to be all that you can be. You want to leave a dent in the universe. O.k, maybe that’s going a bit too far. But if you want to be more of a giver and you’re looking for more than a guilt trip, welcome aboard.
Dr.‘s take our vitals, to diagnose our health, so lets start with a great question. Where are you on your path as far as giving is concerned? Are you on a path toward being more or less generous? Again, this is not a guilt trip, just a check up. Here are four tips to help you move in the direction of generosity, if you want to take your giving to the next level.
Learn the principle of sowing and reaping- The bible says we harvest what we plant. It also says if we plant bountifully, we will harvest bountifully and if we plant sparingly we will harvest sparingly. You want a great harvest don’t you? Why not start today? Determine and purpose in your heart to invest in the work of the Kingdom no matter what. Others will benefit when you do, but so will you! Once you understand the principles of giving, you’ll never again regret one penny you’ve given away. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts.Mal. 3:10-11 (NASB).
Come to the realization that it’s more blessed to give than to receive! Acts 20:35. Jesus himself said this and Paul reminds us of this fact. The return on investment is not always tangible, though often it is. But who can put a price tag on that feeling or knowledge you experience when you bless someone else? It’s like bing cherries, you can’t eat just one. These investments will pay dividends for years to come, long after other purchases have rusted or disappeared. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:9 (NASB). Besides, the ironic thing about money is that unlike time and energies, you can always get it back. Lose every cent you have today and you can recover it (check out Job 42:10- 13). However, pass up on an opportunity to give in a certain situation and it is gone forever. Remember it’s more blessed to give.
Sacrifice some of your own comforts and you will have something to give to others. That doesn’t mean you should give away just leftovers. But if giving to others generously is a problem, start by denying yourself. How much car do you need? How big a house? How many mobile devices? How much cable? How many tattoos? It’s not that you can’t have nice things. Lots of Christians do. But if giving is a challenge for any number of reasons, create some margin in your finances and you’ll take a rewarding step in the direction of being more generous. After all, you do want to grow don’t you? Growing means every area, not just the ones that feel good. Pastor/Teacher Andy Stanley says that if you make more than $48,000.00 a year, you are in the top 1 percent of all earners in the world. You’re rich. Right up there with Mark Cuban and Bill Gates! The problem is that most of us have a tendency to raise our standard of living every time we receive more, instead of living below our means and making eternal investments.
Study the scriptures. In them you’ll find that God commands us to give. In fact, Paul calls giving a sign of grace. “But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.” 2 Cor. 8:7 (NASB). The more you see how generous God is, the more you’ll want to be just like him. After all, that’s what kids do, right? God is so generous, He allowed his son Jesus to leave glory and die on a cross for every man, woman and child who ever lived. Maybe that’s why Jesus talked about money more than any other topic. Here are some facts: 1) Money is the subject of nearly half the parables Jesus told. 2) One in seven verses in the NT deals with this subject! 3) The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith, and more than 2,000 verses on money. 4) 15 percent of everything Jesus ever taught was on the topic of money and possessions. 5) Jesus talked about money more than he did on heaven and hell combined.
If you want to grow, be rich. Get this area in your life nailed down and a lot of other areas will fall into place. It’s like anything else in life, we can talk about it until we’re blue in the face, but we have to experience it to fully understand. If you want to be more of a giver, start giving. Remember, it’s not all about getting rich, it’s all about being rich! God promises you’ll never regret your decision to step in the direction of being more generous.
“He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; (Romans 12:8)
“Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality” (Romans 12:8,13)