If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then generosity is an attribute that, I believe, God wants us to develop and grow.
Think about it: God was so GENEROUS that He gave us His Son, Jesus! Jesus was generous by laying down His life. As we put our faith in Jesus, we are saying that that we are following Him. Following Him means becoming more and more generous.
We can be generous in many areas of our life; however, the number one area that we come up lacking in is being generous with our finances. Most people want to give, help people out, or support their local church more. But, many of us would say we cannot because of our other financial obligations or our simple lack of funds.
The number one fear that we must face when we start to become more generous with our finances is:
THE FEAR OF NOT ENOUGH
Let’s face it, we fear we will not have “enough” money if we give out to some cause, person, or church. We feel like we already have limited funds so there is no way to stretch that out to others. Or, we fall for the lie that says, “When I make more money, then I will be more generous”.
So with that said, here are some practical ways to start being a more generous person with my finances:
1. Live Within Your Means: Most of our problems come from spending more than we make. Living within your means will cause you to have to strategically think about what to drop from your monthly expenses. For example, do you really need to pay $75-$100 to your cable company. If you cannot pay your electric bill, water bill, or even give a portion of your income back to God, then maybe you need to cut some luxury out that really is not a need. This starts with a “Budget”! A budget is simply a monthly plan to tell your money where to go, so that it just doesn’t go!
2. Make A Plan On Paper To Get Out Of Debt: One of the biggest pay raises that you will ever get will be when you get out of debt and start using that money for your monthly expenses and more generosity. Your plan may take 1 year or 5 years, or 8 years or more. The time doesn’t matter, what matters is that you make a plan and start working that plan. I do not have the space or time to go into detail on how to do this. I suggest you sign up for a “Financial Peace University” class. This will be one of the best investments you will ever make! At The Vertical Church, we offer this class 2-3 times a year. This has helped our people become more generous and get out of debt more than anything we have ever done!
3. Start Giving Somewhere, Somehow: At The Vertical Church, when I teach about giving and being generous, I always give people an opportunity to start somewhere, somehow. I say things like, “Become a percentage giver!”. Pick a percentage and start there. If you are already giving, then pray and plan on raising that percentage. At the first of this year, we had over 100 people sign up for a 90 day Giving Challenge. They said, for the first 90 days, I will become a “first fruit percentage giver back to God of my finances”. People’s faith has grown more than anything I have ever seen. There is a lie that says, “When I make more money, then I will give.” The truth is that if you do not give and become generous when you are making $100 a month, you will not be generous if you are making $10,000 a month! Generosity and giving of our finances is a heart issue. So while you work on #1 and #2, start giving somewhere, somehow! Do it at the same time as you work your plan and get out of debt.
What are some things you would add to this list?
How have you experienced financial freedom and grown in your generosity?