As a financial advisor who claims to operate a Christian Financial Planning practice, I feel I have the duty to my Christian clients and to God to have conversations with them about giving. In my own life, I’ve had ups and downs when it came to my giving. Opening my own practice dramatically affected my giving, but I know as the company grows, my giving will be far greater than it was in the past. But, during my times of radical giving and obedience to the “Tithe Principle”, I found that my life was becoming more and more blessed beyond anything I could have imagined. The “Tithe Principle” says this from Malachi 3:10: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it”. I have seen the promise attached to this Scripture verse come to fruition in my own life. As my giving increased, I started to receive promotions at work. As my obedience increased, I saw unexpected family blessings happen that I never would have anticipated.
When my wife and I first decided we were going to try to live the Christian walk, someone we don’t know and still don’t know to this day sent us a card with a letter inside. The letter said many wonderful things, but what I will remember most is the card had the scripture verse from 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 which says, 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. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! Again, I have seen the promises of these verses come to fruition in my life. This is my experience with having a giving heart.
Even though my personal experience is my experience, I believe these promises are for EVERYONE. I believe that when we are more giving, natural reciprocal giving just happens in return. This does not mean that we give to receive. We just understand that giving allows us to be more blessed than we already are. How is this related to financial planning? Good question. Since I practice what I call “Biblical Finance”, I need to follow what the Bible prescribes when working with Christian clients. The Bible is a great roadmap for many of life’s decisions, including your finances. In addition to giving, the Bible talks about diversification, debt, lending, taxes & more. By following the money principles outlined in the Bible, we have an opportunity to partner with God to accomplish incredible feats. We have the opportunity to see and hear stories of redemption, overcoming, & change. As an example, immediately following Hurricane Harvey, my church, Willow Creek, had such radical giving from the people of the Church, that we sent 5 semi-trucks filled with relief items for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. That is something to be proud of! When I think about the Bible saying to “Store up treasures in Heaven”, I believe this is a great example of storing a treasure for Heaven. People’s lives will be changed because of the generosity of those who have decided to give.
As a Christian, you should examine your giving. You should pray about what God has asked you to give and follow through. I have no doubt your life will be abundantly blessed because of it. If you are a Christian and when it comes to your giving, you are solely focused on how much you are saving for retirement or for your child’s education, you are completely missing the point of the life we have been called to live. If you were one of my clients, I would be obligated to have a conversation with you about your giving. In fact, I’ve done so on a number of occasions. If you are a Christian and you are seeking Christian advice, you might not like what you hear from time to time. I know I will lose clients because I talk about giving, but I believe we all have a bigger calling in our lives than just saving and earning money. As I’ve given advice to the clients who have followed through, the success stories happening will be a great testimony to the proof of the truth of God’s Word.
What’s more important to you, saving as much money as you can? Or, being part of something that is much bigger than you? Do you want to see the “floodgates of Heaven” opened up for you? Do you want to see others thanking God for the good works you have done? As for me, I’m going with the being part of something bigger than anything I can ask or imagine. There is great power within our Church, our Community and our Calling when we decide we are going to give sacrificially and according to how God has asked us to give.
Have a great day.