This week I’ve traded over 50 emails with Christians who have a personal relationship with Jesus, but are struggling with giving.
They’ve asked me some tough questions:
“What if I can’t afford to be generous?”
“How do I start giving if I’m strapped with debt?”
“I’m living paycheck to paycheck. What’s your advice to me?”
First understand this:
I promise that wasn’t a callous statement. Let me explain.
To grow in your personal generosity, you’ll have to take some uncomfortable (possibly even scary) steps of faith.
I wrote a post about the “4 Stages of Giving” that I believe all Christians experience on the road to generosity.
Every generous Christian experiences doubt and fear in their giving from time to time.
But did you know that giving is the only place in the Bible where God openly challenges you to “Test Him?”
If you want to become more generous, here are 3 simple steps.
3 Simple Steps to Become More Generous
Get Out of Debt.
The average American has $15k in credit card debt, $150k in mortgage debt, and $32k in student loans…and it’s crushing them.
Perhaps I just described your exact situation.
It’s a 9-week course (90 minutes per week) that teaches you how to make a budget, live within your means, and begin digging your way out of debt.
The average person that attends Financial Peace University pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 within the first 90 days…that’s an $8,000 swing.
If you’re in debt, this is a class that you can’t afford NOT to take.
If you’re a pastor or church leader reading this, what’s holding you back from hosting this class at your church?
If you want your members to grow in their generosity, help them get out of debt.
Show people you want something FOR them, not just something FROM them.
Consider the Opportunity Cost.
Chances are you’ll walk this Earth for roughly 80-90 years.
And no matter how much money you accumulate in a lifetime, when you die you can’t take any of it with you.
But as Pastor Randy Alcorn says, “You can send it ahead.“
Eternity is real…and it’s FOREVER.
The seeds you sow on Earth today will determine the eternal rewards that you reap.
Matthew 6 offers some great insight:
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…You cannot serve both God and money.“
Nice house. Nice car. Nice clothes. Those are all great.
But there’s only one thing that is eternal and that’s the church!
Step Out in Faith by Giving First.
There’s a great story in Joshua 3.
Joshua is about to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River.
But there’s one HUGE problem. The Jordan River was full and overflowing–it was at its peak.
God had given Joshua a promise and command–”Cross the Jordan River“–but the task still looked daunting.
Joshua placed his trust in God and began to lead the Israelites across the Jordan. Look what happened in Joshua 3:15-16:
It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away…until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.
Notice, the priests had to put their feet in the water FIRST. They didn’t experience the miracle until they had taken the first step of faith.
Giving is the exact same way. You’ve got to put your foot in the water.
Generosity requires you to step out in faith FIRST so that you can set the stage for God’s glory to be revealed.
And here’s the best part. God is always faithful when you are!