Most all of us want to be generous. Even if you don’t want it, you want to want it. You want to be a generous person. That word, “generous” means to act with nobility. We’d all like that, we’d all like to act with nobility. And that’s what God would like from us too.
But, we’re born blind, naturally ignorant of other people’s needs and selfish when it comes to our own. If we want to become generous people, or more generous people, we have to practice generosity. It takes work. We have to be headed in the direction of generosity. We have to be walking that path.
To be walking that path, I need a plan.
I need to plan my giving. Besides a budget or spending plan, I need a giving plan. If I fail to plan to give, I’m planning to fail to give. So I need a plan.
To be walking that path, I need to make my giving a priority.
That means I give away money before I spend it. If I don’t give first, I’ll forget about it, or spend the money away and no longer enjoy the opportunity to give. Besides, generosity means giving from my substance, from my core, from my heart…not just from what’s left over at the end of the month. To make giving a priority, it needs to rise to the top of the list of what to do with money. The basic priorities are giving and then saving and then spending or living.
To be on that path, my plan has got to be a priority and my priority has got to be a percentage. I need to be giving a percentage.
God doesn’t care about the amount we give, the amount doesn’t count. He doesn’t care about the amount, he cares about the percentage…because the percentage reveals my heart, and he cares about my heart. What percentage should I give? The Bible says at least 10%. And as hard as that is to hear, that is just the basic level of giving in the Bible. In picking a percentage, 10% is the goal. But, an even more important goal is to get started with some percentage, really any percentage. To be a percentage giver.
To do what God tells me to do with money, I plan my giving, make it a priority and give a percentage. Those three. One other thing I need to to if I am doing all that…I need to think about progressive giving. That means that every year, I evaluate what I have given and look for ways to give more, especially if I am not yet giving at 10%.
Generosity, especially in the area of our finances, doesn’t come naturally to us. We have to work at it. The paradox of giving is that we always get what we give. And when it comes to giving to God and what God cares about, we can’t out-give God.
There is an unmistakable correlation in the Bible between the blessings God distributes and the obedience he is given. Over and over again he asks his servants for obedience in little things and then turns around and does great big things. Obedience is desired and required. Blessings happen on the other side of obedience.