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.
April 1, 2019
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. ~ Proverbs 11:24 (NIV)
Christians who have wealth above their basic needs ought to share it with those who have less. Doing so is an act of worship to Christ, and demonstrates trust in Him. ~ Mark Vincent
How do you plan for your generosity? Is it a line item in your budget? Do you have planned “margin” so you have excess for generosity? Or do you simply give out of your leftovers? Generosity should cost us. Often our imaginations fail us when it comes to finding ways to be generous at a cost to ourselves.
At 18 years old I turned to my boyfriend and said, 'If we want to get married one day, we should probably start saving now.' I'm not sure what is more shocking, the fact that I was thinking about marriage at 18 or that he agreed. I love meeting up with my friends for food or coffee, but in that season I had to say no to some invites or suggest more affordable plans. Once we were sure that getting married was what we wanted to do we made it a number one priority, which called for a major shift in our attitude towards our money. Cinema trips turned into movie nights at home and dinners out turned into dinners in. As much as I didn't always like it in the moment, I knew that's what I had to do.
When farmers plant a crop they don't just throw seed and hope for the best. They know how much they will sow and when they will sow it. Whether it's a wedding, a car, a house or a holiday that we want, the truth is if we sow into our savings we'll reap the harvest of being able to pay for the things we desire.
What if we saw generosity the same way? What if being generous was a venture to save for?
Let's be intentional about generosity. Why not set aside an extra bit of time and money each month to not just sow into our own futures but to sow into someone else's?
I used to fear generosity because I thought it always had to be a spontaneous sacrifice that threw off my budget or plans. Yes, being generous is often a sacrifice, but it's something we can and should plan for. After all, God chose to be generous and gave up His Son. Jesus made plans to be generous and gave up His Life. As disciples of Jesus, our generosity should reflect our Savior’s generosity. Let’s be deliberate. Let’s worship Christ this Easter season, through deliberate acts of generosity.
(My thanks to Chloe Lambert and the good folks at 40acts and Stewardship for their generosity in sharing this devotional with us! – Jon C. Wiebe)