“If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them.” – C.S. Lewis
The best way to deal with your fears is to meet them head on. The root of most of people’s fears is the fear of not having enough. I call it a scarcity mindset. This leads and contributes to most of all the other fears people deal with in their lives. So when it comes to your money, what should you fear most? Which fears should take priority? Which sets of concerns should drive your financial decisions?
It is the fear of the what ifs?
· What if the economy turns?
· What if I get laid off?
· What if I don’t get the raise?
· What if I get sick?
Those fears generally drive us to stockpile money so that we will be able to navigate successfully through the “what ifs” that haunt us. But these are the same fears that have the potential to weaken our resolve to give.
Instead of fearing the prospects of facing financial challenges without enough savings, we ought to fear facing the same scenario without our heavenly Father standing on the front lines with us.
Think about it: What do you fear most? Not having enough, or not having the involvement of your heavenly Father? Your answer will determine what you do in the future.
Financial uncertainty is a reality. Our certainty hinges on our generosity now. Our willingness to invest in God’s kingdom now will be reflected in His involvement in our finances both now and then. That is why it is imperative that we sow generously when we can.
We have an incredible opportunity. You can choose now to invite your heavenly Father into the world of your finances while at the same time insuring that a portion of your wealth is untouchable by both personal and national tragedies.
What’s there to fear?
Here is a plan that will provide guidelines to help you navigate through the practical issues of giving, and invite your heavenly Father on the front end of your finances.
Priority giving means that no matter how rich or poor you might feel, right now is the time to be generous. It has been said that “If you wait until you’re rich, you’ll never start, because rich people live in denial that they’re rich. The best way to make giving a priority is to make it the very first check you write every month.”
Percentage giving means knowing what your percentage is, instead of just an amount. If you just focus on amounts, you’ll either become discouraged when it isn’t very much or you’ll become prideful if you feel it’s a lot. Statistics show that as people increase in wealth, their percentage of giving goes down. They have more, but they give less. Why? Because the amount of money they give away is going up, so they rationalize that they are being more generous while they keep a greater percentage for themselves.
Progressive giving means that you continue to grow in generosity as you grow in your faith. This simply means that over time you raise the percentage of giving as God continues to bless you.
Then Prompted giving. From time to time , God may prompt you make a special gift that goes beyond a rote formula. It can be the most relational experience in all your giving. There is nothing like knowing that God is living and moving and interacting with you. In this way God uses promptings to communicate that you are in a unique position to meet His kingdom needs.
There you have it, a comprehensive outline for giving. It is also sensitive to the promptings from God to meet special kingdom needs that may rise.
When you experience your heavenly Father’s love and He meets your needs, your fear will have met its match. Because perfect love drives out all fear.
(Thoughts taken from Fields of God by Andy Stanley)