Generosity & Financial Freedom
You’ve heard me share on here about the importance of becoming debt free, having a plan, and being financially healthy. We are to be faithful stewards of God’s money. However, I never expected our journey of becoming debt free to be as transformational as it has proven to be.
I wouldn’t have considered myself a generous person when I started on the “Financial Peace” plan. I wanted to be and knew it was a good thing to do. I wanted to be obedient to God’s commands. But I didn’t think it was possible with the income I had. I felt like I was barely making it by myself. Though I had moments where I could help out, most of the times I denied any requests.
I was humbled by Michael’s generosity when I met him. It is definitely one of his spiritual strengths. I joked that he would give away our house if he could. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years, but still, each time an opportunity came up, a lump formed in my throat and panic ensued.
When Michael and I started the “Financial Peace” plan by Ramsey Solutions (Total Money Makeover book for Canadians), we would dream about all the vacations we would take, the cars we would drive, the house we would build. We wanted to save a ton of money and have and do all the things we ever dreamed about.
We also didn’t want to sacrifice much. We watched a lot of “Debt Free Screams” on Youtube to keep us motivated. Though every time someone talked about sacrificing this or that, we got quiet. I worked more and tried to sell some stuff, but we didn’t want to give up eating out, taking some trips, etc. We didn’t have any debt besides the house, so we didn’t really have to.
However, with each year that we worked at it, our dreams changed and our sacrifices grew. The closer we got to our goal, the more we knew how much sacrifice and discipline were worth it. But something else grew in us as well: Generosity.
Surprisingly, the more we put down on the house payments, the more we wanted to give to others too. And the more we dreamed about being able to help others, instead of our own selfish ambitions. Don’t misunderstand me. Have fun and enjoy buying clothes, vacations, cars, and houses if you’re debt free and can afford it. There’s nothing wrong with them in and of themselves. It’s the motivating factors behind it that should change.
Sure, we will enjoy the fruits of our labours when we’re debt free, but they aren’t nearly as important to us anymore. We’ve learned that our money is truly not our own. It’s all the Lord’s and we are only managers of it. We want to manage it well. We’re told in James 2:15-16, “If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?”
We are also told that “pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 2:27)
If we are hoarding our money because we don’t think we’ll be able to do everything we want to, then we’re not in the correct heart and mindset. If we’re willing to give, God will provide.
Michael and I have gotten to the point that being generous is one of our favourite things in life. We’ve been so blessed with what God has provided us with, that it’s a joy to be able to give to others.
We are supposed to pray about who and how much when larger requests come in, but sometimes it’s fun to be able to make someone’s day with something small too. A token to remind him that someone cares about him and sees his need.
This is the most beautiful lesson we’ve (especially I) learned throughout this whole “Financial Peace” process. God will always give you what you need. You don’t have to worry about that at all. If you’re responsible with little, He’ll make you responsible with much. The more you’re blessing people, the more you’ll be blessed in return. It may not be financially, but spiritually, your heart will be full.
There have been times when Michael and I were feeling frustrated and discouraged. We needed to shake it off, so we thought of others in our lives who were struggling, went out, and blessed them with little gifts. It totally turned our attitudes around and filled our hearts with joy.
We were meant to give in this life more than receive. Our time will come where we will get the reward and receive beyond our wildest imaginations. Our hearts will be overflowing. So, don’t worry about filling yourself up in this life. Give out to others and see how much it transforms your heart and life.
This is why being free of debt is so critically important. The more you owe someone, the less you can help others. It is possible to not have debt. It does take sacrifice and maybe not having as nice of things as you’d desire. But the reward of being able to bless others and grow in the Lord is so worth it. Keep that as your motivator and watch how God changes your life.