70% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. 2/3 of people don’t have a written plan for spending. The majority of people are not ready for an emergency over $1000. With money so tight, how can one even think about giving or tithing?
In the final episode of this fantastic series on “Hope in Christian Finances,” we dive into tithing and generosity with Coach T of Freedom 5:One ministry. You will discover why generosity is healthy and simple ideas that you can do to be generous, even when money is tight. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #37: How to Give Even When Money is Tight, Part 3▼
According to Coach T, there are five key areas of finances.
1) Spending Plan or Budget
2) Savings Plan for short and long term expenses, as well as emergencies
3) Debt Plan
5) Giving Plan
While giving is often put at the bottom of the concerns, Coach T says that giving should be placed first because when God is the center of our finances, all of our spending, savings, and giving makes sense. There is purpose in the dollars. Being a generous giver honors God. Generosity also models the heart of God because He was first generous to us.
Next, we have an opportunity to participate in what God is doing. Henry Blackaby in his study Experience God states that God is always at work around us. We are to recognize this and jump in as co-labors with God and His people. It is an honor to give of our finances, times, and talents and then step back and watch God work.
Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” In giving from the top, we are expecting through faith that God will provide for our needs. The next verse says, “Then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Looking across the Scriptures, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your bank accounts will be maxed out. Instead, this means that when we honor God with what He has given us, we will be blessed beyond our imaginations and the He will provide for our needs.
Hebrews 13:5 say, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Too often we undervalue the promise and provisions of God showing that we are overvaluing money. This comes in two ways. We either plan, prepare, and do everything possible to create safety nets. Or we live with a passive financial freedom assuming God will take care of any need that arises. As I often say, we have to keep it between the ditches. God calls us to live a life of wisdom and trust knowing that what we have isn’t ours. But, it is money that God has given to meet our needs (not necessarily wants) and to give to others.
How to Give, Even When Money is Tight
But what happens when you don’t feel like you can give? How can you give when the budget it so tight making generosity feel unreachable.
Coach T encourages us all to step out in faith and ask the following question: What is my heart naturally drawn to? Here are some questions to get you started.
- Do you have a heart for underprivileged kids?
- Do single moms pull at your heart string?
- Maybe you are drawn to orphans and widows.
- Do you long to serve oversea missionaries?
While a large check sometimes seems like the only option, many organizations need boots on the ground just as much as the financial support. They need someone to sort donations, make cookies, and mow yards. Missionaries need encouragement through pray, cards, and texts. And, many of these things ideas can be done with kids!
How to Receive Financial Coaching
If in reading and listening to this series you realize that you need wise counsel and help to create a God-honoring financial plan, I encourage you to reach out to Coach T. As stated in the podcast, the Freedom 5:One ministry is available to adults around the world and scholarships are available.
I pray that in this series you have been encouraged to create a financial plan with your spouse, train the next generation, and overflow with generosity. I know I have been.