The Three Essentials: Part Two- Giving
Being generous is a characteristic of God Himself. He gave His only Son on our behalf. He created this beautiful world for us to live in. He gives us breath in our lungs each day and purpose in our souls. He provides for us abundantly.
So, being generous is a call for us as well. As Dave Ramsey puts it, “if we have a closed fist, we won’t lose our money, but nothing will be able to get in either. If we have an open hand, sure, some money may leave, but our hand will be open to receive too (paraphrased) “.
It’s not that we should expect to receive back when we’ve given something. But giving is one of the best rewards you can get. How does that make sense? Well, when you know that you are able to help someone in need, it blesses you in return. You’ve helped to fill a void. You’ve brought encouragement to their day or week.
We are not owners of our money. God calls us to be faithful managers of it.
“Honor the Lord with
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10
When we are faithful in our tithing and giving, God honours that.
There was a season when I was in between jobs and schooling. I had returned home from a year of Bible College and was planning to take a summer and semester to save up for nursing school. I couldn’t seem to find a job all summer.
It seemed that every time I would be down to about $5.00, another $50 would be given to me. I would tithe on that in gratitude for God providing. I would try to be wise in stretching that money as best I could. This cycle continued all summer. Then, at the end of September that year, I got a job. I remembered God’s faithfulness and continued to tithe.
I didn’t have a lot monetarily to give at that time, but I was able to give my time and talents to Him. My grandma was chronically sick, so I spent most of my time helping her. I had an opportunity to assist with a Vacation Bible School.
The older I get and the more I have monetarily to give, the more I am learning the importance and fun of being generous. Michael, my husband, is amazing at this. He loves to be generous! He hears of a need and finds a way to rally people together to help provide. We aren’t rich, but what God has provided us is His. If we can give, we do.
Maybe this is a new idea to you. Or, maybe you’ve been stuck financially for a long time and the thought of giving stresses you out. You can start small. You don’t need a lot to give a lot. However, if you learn to start giving when you have a little, God will bless and honour that. The more you give, the more He’ll give you to be a responsible steward of.
When you do a budget, tithing should be the very first thing you allocate money to. What is tithing? It is ten percent of what you make. You can decide if that is net or gross. Offerings or alms is anything above the ten percent. If you think about it, ten percent is not a lot.
What are some ways that you enjoy blessing others? If this is new to you, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Buy someone a coffee when she’s having a rough day
- Pay for someone’s order at a café or restaurant
- Send someone flowers anonymously
- Prepare a meal for someone that is sick or grieving
- Write a letter and mail it to someone that needs encouragement
- Pay for a student’s tuition
- Buy a car for a family in need
What are some other ways you can think of?