2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT  You must each decide in your heart how much to give.  And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

You may be thinking that Steve is supposed to be writing about saving money, getting out of debt, or any number of topics to help you financially, so why is he talking about giving?  How do you feel when your pastor talks to you about giving?  It is a fact that many people are turned off when their pastor preaches about tithing.  They may feel pressured, guilty, uncomfortable or resentful, and sometimes all of the above.  Giving is a very personal thing, and it is not one size fits all.  I am asked regularly “should I give if I have debt”, “should I give if I don’t have money in savings”, “should I give 10% net or gross”, “if I can’t give 10% is it ok to give less”?  My answer is yes to all of these questions, but in my heart,

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]I believe it is not the amount you give but how you give that is important.[/inlinetweet]  Words that come to mind are giving anonymously, cheerfully, sacrificially and willingly.

In my new book Six Week Money Challenge: For Your Personal Finances I write, “Rich or poor, it is the ones who don’t trust God with their finances who worry most about their money.”  Let’s unwrap this a little by looking at two different scenarios.  Take someone who has been blessed generously with financial resources and dutifully gives 10% of their abundance, but doesn’t give it cheerfully or sacrificially.  Instead they write their check each week because their pastor said they must give 10%.  Take another person who is barely scraping by and each week still manages to give 1%, and when they give they do it cheerfully and sacrificially.  Which person probably trusts God with their finances?

What I know is that God does not need our money and we can’t buy our way into heaven, but I want to give you a few points to ponder:

  • We give to show God that we know that everything we have belongs to Him and that He is the true provider for all of our needs.
  • If you are financially rich but spiritually broke, all the money in the world won’t provide you with true peace or a joyful life.
  • It is better to give a little something when you have nothing, then to give a little something when you have everything.

If you want to get your financial house in order for 2016, change the things you are doing with your money.  Start by giving first, setting some aside in savings, and living on the rest.  If you have never given in the past, start with a small amount.  It does not matter if it is just $1.00 or 1%.  If you are already giving, I challenge you to give more to see if God opens the windows of heaven for you and pours down His blessings!

 

Steve Repak

Steve Repak, CFP® is a Financial Literacy Speaker, Army veteran, and author of Six Week Money Challenge: For Your Personal Finances (January 2016) and Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money (January 2012). Steve has helped many people turn their finances around with his inspiring financial literacy presentations and one-on-one financial coaching. For more information about Steve, his books or if you would like him to speak at your or next event visit www.steverepak.com

The Life of a Single Mom logoThe Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com