Congratulations! You may be one of the wealthiest people in the entire world. You may say, “You don’t know me very well.” This may be true but I do know the rest of the planet lives far below the American poverty level.
From my experience working with many families on their finances, I have noticed some key reasons why generosity eludes them. Many people want to be more generous but they simply believe it is unaffordable. Their belief is they either make too little money or their bills are so expensive they do not have the means to give generously, much less give at all.
How can someone who wants to give and be generous actually turn it into action?
First, there must be a commitment to give immediately after the paycheck is received. What often happens in the typical, American home is the paycheck is viewed as a means to get the individual or family through to the next payday without getting behind on the bills. Because of this, it is best for the portion set aside for giving to be taken out of the pay and immediately given to the Lord and his work. Trust the Lord that he will provide for your needs as you generously and joyously give.
Second, a spending plan, or budget, is a tremendous help in planning to be generous. If a plan is not put in place, often the good intentions fall by the wayside. Zig Ziglar correctly said, “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.” You can find a budget at either www.compass1.org or www.crown.org. Once you get your spending plan in place and everything balances, you can rest assured you will have the money to be generous like you want to be.
Finally, one last way to turn the desire to be generous into action is to spend less, earn more, or sell things. Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise man saves for the future but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” Spend less on wants so you can be more generous. Is there something you can do to earn more money so you can be more generous? Do you have items around the house that you haven’t used in years? Have a yard sale this summer or take it to a consignment shop and commit to give away what you make to those in need.
Psalm 112:9 says, “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high forever.” “Horn” here symbolizes dignity. Dignity is an increase in character or self-respect. As we are generous to others in need, we will personally benefit by knowing that we are honoring the Lord and helping to build his kingdom. Take the steps to be more generous and see what God will do!
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.