Giving Meaning to Money® Devotional
EDITOR — JON C. WIEBE
WRITER — MATT BELL
Matt Bell is Sound Mind Investing's Associate Editor. He is the author of three personal finance books published by NavPress, leads workshops at churches and universities throughout the country, and has been quoted in USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, and many other media outlets. To read his blog and learn more about his work, visit www.soundmindinvesting.com.
An Irrational Financial Act
May 1, 2017
Of all the things we can do with money, giving it away seems completely, utterly irrational, doesn’t it? It turns out that generosity is a key component of what it means to use money well. Here are three reasons why.
Generosity is Part of Our Design
The Bible says we were each made in God’s image, and since God is infinitely generous, that means generosity is woven into the fabric of our spiritual DNA.
When we don’t give, or give only token amounts, or give from a sense of guilt or obligation, we deprive ourselves of one of life’s great joys. But when we give generously with grateful hearts, we live in concert with our design. It’s no wonder that generous people are generally happier and find life more meaningful than those who are not generous.
Generosity Reminds Us of Our Priorities
The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). I remember a time when my wife, Jude, wanted to give some money to a friend doing missionary work in a country that I wasn’t sure I could find on a map. Up to that time, I never thought of that country. It just wasn’t on my radar screen.
However, after we started sending some money there, I noticed every time the country was in the news. And I took great interest in each letter Jude’s friend wrote about her work.
My heart went there because some of our money was going there.
Giving regularly and generously to support God’s work in the world is a very powerful way to keep our hearts focused on God.
Generosity Leads to Blessings
I am very confident that giving in order to get something from God is nothing less than an affront to God. I want nothing to do with the prosperity gospel.
Biblical generosity is motivated by gratitude; it’s a response to God’s generosity.
Still, many passages of Scripture clearly state that there are blessings that flow from generosity, such as Proverbs 11:24: “One man gives freely yet gains even more. Another withholds unduly but comes to poverty.”
Some people trace material blessings to their giving. Others experience blessings related to their health, relationships, sense of peace, and more. Still others find it easier to live within their means and experience financial freedom when they start giving.
It seems irrational. It doesn’t make sense on a spreadsheet. It’s one of those hard-to-explain but impossible-to-deny realities that there is a link between generosity fueled by a grateful heart and blessings.
We’d love to hear your feedback on the three major points in this devotional: Generosity is part of our design, reminds us of our priorities, and leads to blessings.