Deliberate Generosity

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

In 2 Corinthians, Paul explains how God encourages generous giving.  Not only that, but God will bless your generosity.  But being generous might not come naturally to you.  You may even find it difficult.  I know you want to do it God’s way or you wouldn’t be reading right now, so let me show you an easy way to be deliberately generous.

80-10-10 IIYou may be familiar with the 90/10 rule of money.  This rule says you should save 10% of your take home pay and live off of the remaining 90%.  But Christians need to factor in giving so the rule changes to 80/10/10.

You might feel like there is no way you can make it on only 80% of your after-tax earnings.  Saving 10% might seem out of reach, let alone setting aside 20%.  I know the feeling.  I’ve been there myself.  But once I started setting it aside, and not counting on it, it became doable.

So how do you set it aside and not count on it?  The same way you become deliberately generous, by setting up three accounts.  You will need a primary checking account for your living expenses, which you probably already have.  Then set up a separate checking account for your tithing and giving.  Set it up so 10% is automatically taken out of each paycheck. Then do the same thing with a savings account.

Once the 10% is going to savings and 10% is going to giving, as New Yorkers would say, “forget about it.”  Now reset your spending to be able to live within what’s left.  This may take a bit of a lifestyle adjustment and some time to get used to, but you can do it and you will be glad you did.

Now that you have 10% set aside, your generosity is on autopilot.  As you faithfully give, you may find that your heart is no longer content with giving only 10%.  My wife and I are currently giving about 20%; 10% to our local church and roughly 10% to causes that we believe in and individuals when we can meet a specific need in their lives.

Having the money set aside and no longer a part of our budget equation has made us more generous than we would be otherwise.   We think of the money as already spent, even if we have not yet been led to where God wants us to give it.  As Paul might say, we are in a position of having all that we need and able to participate in His good work.

Have a question or comment?  Can I pray for you?  Contact me.  Thanks for reading and God bless you.

Want more on this topic?  Visit the Biblical Money Principles archives.

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