These days it’s trendy for the ultra-rich to give to charities and to good causes. The Gates Foundation along with Warren Buffet has given away $33.5 billion since its creation in 2000, while Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and his wife plan to give away 99% of their company stock, worth about 45 Billion dollars, over their lifetime. Some of you are thinking: “Well, if I had money like that, I’d be incredibly generous too!” Actually, most of us wouldn’t.
In 2013 Atlantic Monthly Magazine ran an article on the giving trends among Americans. The results showed that those in the top 20% of the income bracket gave an average of 1.3% to charities in 2011, while the bottom 20% gave an average of 3.2%. Those with significantly less financial resources gave 2.5 times MORE than those with the greatest financial wealth. You see, it’s human nature. The more we have, the more we tend to grasp tightly. It comes back to our “me-first” mentality.
So, when God tells us to honor Him with our wealth, what does that really look like? Well, it starts with a perspective shift. Where did all of your stuff actually come from? Behind all of our high-tech gadgets, our newer cars, our bigger homes, our vacation and college funds – we find God. God is the source of all our blessings. Everything we have is from Him and belongs to Him. This includes our families, our kids, even our careers – all we have is from Him.
So, honoring God with our wealth is really just about returning what was already His in the first place. In the Bible this is referred to as tithing – giving 10% off the top of your income. This means before bills, before loans, before mortgages… first. It’s like an ‘owners fee’ (And what a deal that is for us, the financial planners, whom God has entrusted. We get to use the remaining 90% as we see best).
Ok, but does it really matter when we give as long as we give? Yes. Think about it this way: giving to God first means putting God first. It means trusting God more than we trust ourselves. It means shifting our perspective.
So, the question is: Are you going to trust God? Are you going to give first and trust Him with the rest? Show some courage and trust God through giving to His church and ministry.