4 Commons Myths About Generosity
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Few things reveal our hearts more than our finances. Right now, the average American is $38,000 in debt not including their mortgage. The average Japanese person saves 25% of their income. The average European saves 18%. The average American spends at least 1% more than they make and that number is growing.
The world doesn't care about your financial freedom at all. God does!
Jesus spoke more about money than any other topic because He knew this would be an idol so many people would worship no matter what generation you lived in. The Bible contains approximately 2,350 verses about money and possessions and 15% of everything Jesus said was related to money.
Jesus wasn't scared to talk about it. Why would He be? He owns everything in the earth anyway.
Ps. 24:1 - The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
Everything in the earth belongs to God. Everything! We are simply stewards of everything we've been entrusted with. Our kids, talents, your business, education, clients, vehicles, friendships, careers, bodies, homes, etc. We are simply stewards of them.
As Jesus followers, God is the head and everything we do flows from His heartbeat for us. Which means how we manage our finances as well.
So here a few myths to expose about financial stewardship to help us position ourselves for financial freedom in our lives.
Myth #1: Generosity is a money issue.
It's not. It's a worship issue. Money isn't evil. The love of money is which turns into idolatry. That's the root. Generosity really flows from a heart of gratitude. Generosity doesn't flow from our bank accounts first. It flows from a heart of gratitude.
And the more you understand what Jesus has already done for us, the more it frees us to live lives of extravagant generosity. Think about this...we had a debt we could not pay and Jesus paid a debt He did not own so we can be free from the power AND penalty of sin.
Jesus changed everything! The cross is a game-changer. Now, we GET to give FROM a place of blessing not FOR a blessing. We already have everything we need in Christ.
Eph. 1:3 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Myth #2: When I make more then I'll give more.
That's rarely the case. Later never comes. Let's be honest, the more we get the more we spend on ourselves if we aren't careful. It's human nature. The debt just piles up. Because generosity isn't a money issue. It's really a worship and contentment issue. Money is a great tool to be used but a horrible god to worship. It's not a bad thing to want a better life for you and your family.
That's amazing if you can move into your dream home, go on nice vacations, put your kids in private schools, etc. God isn't bothered by that at all. We just have to examine our hearts and be honest about the why behind the what. What fuels that drive for more? Is it to fill a void that's lacking or is our spending attached to our identity?
Are we trying to impress people or prove to our parents we are a somebody? What drives us? Or is that drive to make more money fueled with the mindset that we want to be in a position to give even more to others.
Someday rarely comes. You have to make it a priority.
Ecc. 5:10 - Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
Myth #3: God just wants my money.
The truth is, He doesn't really need it. He owns everything in the world and it all belongs to Him anyway.
What God wants more than anything is our hearts. And He uses money to access our hearts because where our treasure is that is where our hearts are.
The fact that God asks anything of us for anything is stunning to me. And through the generosity of His people and their obedience, He begins to weave us into the story of God to reach our city through generosity.
Prov. 11:24-25 - The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.
Myth 4: It's hard to give.
That's sort of true. But the real truth is, it's hard to give to things that your heart isn't tied to. It's not hard to give to things you love. No one is complaining at a Chiefs game that parking is $567 or that a 4 oz. drink is $378. (I'm exaggerating a tad) No one is saying, "All the Chiefs want is my money." No, they are excited, buying 4 of everything, for players that don't even know you exist.
And...you want everyone to experience it with you. You are taking selfies, tailgating, bringing your kids, and living it up. What changed? Your heart. The truth is it's so easy to give when you are in love with something or someone. And you actually want to give. It excites you.
God is trying to redefine our hearts around His idea of financial success and generosity so we get to the end of our lives being faithful stewards of what we've been entrusted with.
So, this week make the choice to get a Biblical plan in place for generosity for the rest of your life. Be intentional. It doesn't just happen. You need to make choices and say this is how we are going to set up our finances.
In God's kingdom: God gets the first 10% (the tithe which He says is His and do not touch. It's the first-fruits), then we save 10% for an emergency fund and for the future, and then we live off of the 80% we earn.
And as that 80% grows you'll be amazed how much the giving goes up. Because it's a blessing to live a life of generosity. As your business grows, as you get more clients, as your company grows your giving will grow because God uses our finances not just to reach us but to those who are still far from Him.
Stand firm on it. Don't talk yourself out of it or let anyone talk you out of it. You be faithful with the whole 100% and God will take care of you. He promised us He would.
And remember, there are 5 words that aren't a sin to say...It's not in the budget! Preach that to yourself this week.
Isaiah 32:8 - But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.