The Three R’s of Generous Giving.
Generosity. Giving. Gifts. All of the G’s. it is my favourite topic.
There is nothing that can give me the excitement and joy that I get from giving. It is truly one of my greatest passions in life.
It is true what it says in the Bible, “It is better to give than receive.”
Currently I am writing a book on generosity and hence deeply reflecting on this topic. Generosity is something that I have always felt deeply passionate about and wanted to learn how to intertwine it into everything thing that I do
There are so many ways to live generously. Today I want to focus on living generously regards to money.
Giving financially is something Mark and I are deeply passionate about. We love to be generous with our finance. We are have been learning, and still have a long way to go how to give wisely and generously at the same time. In reflection of all we have learned I think the best way to describe what we have learned and how we give is through the three R’s.
Giving Regularly, Responsibly, and when led – Recklessly.
Mark and I have learned the joy of sowing regularly into a certain place or ministry. For example we give regularly to our church, Glory City. We believe in its vision. We want to honour the staff who have dedicated their lives to work for the people in the church and beyond. We want to contribute to it’s mission projects and we want to build The Academy.
There is a deep honour in sowing into the people and the church that God has called you to.
We are aware that running a church has costs. We are privileged to be a part of an incredible family I think of it as a joy and a privilege to give financially to honour the church which is so close to the heart of the Father and the leaders who he has put in our midst.
Mark and I have learned the joy of sowing regularly into a certain place or ministry. For example we give regularly to our church, Glory City. We believe in its vision. We want to honour the staff who have dedicated their lives to work for the people in the church and beyond. We want to contribute to it’s mission projects and we want to build The Academy. There is a deep honour in sowing into the people and the church that God has called you to. We are aware that running a church has costs. We are privileged to be a part of an incredible family I think of it as a joy and a privilege to give financially to honour the church which is so close to the heart of the Father and the leaders who he has put in our midst.
If you don’t go to a church, you could give regularly to a person or a ministry that resonates with your heart. I believe the discipline of giving regularly is vital. It creates a partnership and ownership in your spirit that motivates you to hold that ministry or person before the Lord and pray. It creates margin in your life. And it teaches you give consistently.
This has been harder for me to do. Naturally I love to give large sums of money randomly. The immediate satisfaction of giving so lavishly and getting that instant satisfaction is not there when you give regularly. However it creates something perhaps even more important. It creates a discipline and structure in your life to live generously.
It teaches you to sow into something in faith.
It is a way to practically honour those in your life who have dedicated their lives to ministry and to the Bride of Christ.
This does not mean to be stingy. However I know for many years Mark and I were so determined to be generous that we would give well and above what we could afford. We would give lavishly whenever and whatever. We would give and give. We did this despite the fact that we were still in debt and paying off a personal loan. As a result it took us nearly a decade to pay of a loan that I got while studying to pay of the rest of my tuition nearly a decade ago. In hindsight the way we gave seemed right at the time, however was probably not being a good steward of the money God had given us.
When you understand the love of the Father, all you want to do is give, however I have since learned that there is also wisdom in how you steward the resources God has giving you. This also applies to giving.
As Andy Stanley, an incredible writer and leader who I deeply admire teaches that the order should be:
“Give, Save and than Spend”.
As a general rule. Giving regularly should be a first priority, there should be money left over to save and than the rest to go on expenses and spending. If there is no money to save and live after you give potentially you may need to rethink how you are giving in this season of your life.
Mark and I have only recently got out of debt. While we love to live generously we now approach it in a much more structured way. We love to give regularly to our church a certain percentage of our wage which we decided together before the Holy Spirit.
We usually give this as soon as our pay comes in. Then we give regularly to two other organisations, an Indian orphanage and world vision.
We have a separate generosity account that we put a certain percentage in each week on top of our regular giving. This account is solely for giving. We have a certain percentage from our pay that goes straight into that. We can give lavishly whenever we feel to or want to! This satisfies my desire to give opulently to whomever whenever with what is in this account. This includes random gifts of money, lavish presents or if there is a need we feel prompted or called to. And it is over and above our regular tithe to our church and other organisations.
Give Recklessly – When Led
Learning to give regularly and responsibly is vital, however we have also learned that sometimes all rhyme, reason and budget goes out the window the Holy Spirit prompts us to give recklessly over our regularly giving, and beyond our extra generosity account.
Sometimes we have given away large sums which we could not afford or could not explain why. But we have been obedient. Later at times we see the fruit and other times we don’t. But the most important thing is that we have been obedient and given when prompted.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit has prompted us to give to someone who has no appearance of need. Yet we have given and it has meant more than we could have ever known. Sometimes the Holy Spirit has prompted us to give a foolish amount of money. But because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, then we were able to trust him. The joy of giving recklessly when you have a word from God and inspired by love is unlike anything I can describe.
It is partnering with the Holy Spirit and giving in faith. Joyful obedience in giving, there is nothing quite like it. It is pretty much my favourite thing to do.
So there you have it
The three Rs of giving.
Giving Regularly, Responsibly, and Recklessly when prompted by the Holy Spirit.
Living generously is non-negotiable when you are filled with the love of Jesus. All you want to do is give. Learning how to give regularly creates structure and margin in your life. Learning to give responsibly creates integrity and longevity and giving recklessly keeps you free from legalism and the hold that financial security can have on your life.
Do not underestimate the importance of giving my beloved. It is vital and foundational to your health and vitality.
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Until next time,
Know you are deeply loved and richly cherished.
The Healthy Hiccup