How Generous Are We?

Tom

Money is one of the primary resources that a believer can use to serve others. When given to your local church many who benefit from your gifts will praise God. Money is in greater abundance among Americans and American Christians than anywhere on earth. How generous are we?

Some are very generous. In Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, he asserts: “It’s not about you.” A believer who sees their role in the world as a servant will steward their financial resources in order to care for their family and also to serve others.

Some Christians are not as generous. In the 2008 book, Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don’t Give Away More Money, authors Smith, Emerson, and Snell found that 22% of all American Christians gave nothing, 71% gave less than 2% of their income, and 9% gave 10% or more. Is it because we have spent too much of our money before we get to church? They conjecture that with “reasonably generous giving,” Christians in America could generate an additional $133.4 billion per year for the cause of service to the world. Imagine the difference we could make and how God would be praised!

When considering your faith and finances reflect on the truth of these Bible verses:

  • God owns it all (Psalm 24:1, Deuteronomy 8:18, Matthew 25:14-21)
  • Money is never an end in itself, but is merely a resource to accomplish other God-given goals and obligations (Ecclesiastes 5:10–15, I Timothy 6:17–19, Matthew 6:19–21, 24)
  • Spend less than you earn and do it for a long time, and you’ve done what you can to be financially stable (Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 21:20, Proverbs 21:5)

The first two principles will help reduce stress and provide amazing freedom as we yield control to God (it is His anyway.) Allow God to direct so that His money is used for His purposes in our life and the world. The third principle is very simple, but it provides the backbone to sound financial planning decisions. Without margin in our finances, we have no way to accomplish any goals with money!

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