Economics Family Money & Stewardship

Faith and Finances

(Generosity + Communicate)

Hi welcome again. I talked awhile ago about faith and finances and emphasized that we’re not looking for a methodologies but rather we’re looking for God’s provision and it comes in many different ways. But at the time when Marti and I were really struggling financially we started to learn some principles. Now let me say something about principles.

We don’t take the way God has dealt with us, turn them into principles and then live by those as rules or law. We “live by every word the procedure of the mouth of God.”

So when I talk about principles, they may be something God would want to say now to others but they’re not rules and they’re not magic formula for making finances work. But here are things God dealt with us about, and I think they’re quite universally important.

Firstly, we were really struggling with finances and it had been a period of over 10 years. I began to realize, talking with with a good friend Barry Austin, that I had become, and Marti felt the same, receivers not givers, and God wants us to be givers.  That is true for all people, even those who live by God’s provision which usually through other people’s giving.

We are also called to be givers.  Sometimes, because we’re struggling financially we stop being generous.  Being in debt makes it really hard to be generous. So stay out of debt. And if you’re in debt make it your first priority to get out of debt.

If you owe people, or banks, or credit cards, then it feels like you’re giving away other people’s money. That’s right!  You can’t give away money that you owe to others.  So get out of debt.

We had always tithed because both of us learned that discipline when we were young.  If you’re not tithing by all means start laying aside 10% of any income and give it as the Lord shows you.  But we felt like the Lord challenged us to increase our tithe. (Tithe actually means 10%, so to increase it is kind of a misnomer.) We increased it to 15% and then we felt like God said increase it again, increase it again, increase it again.  We began to give a larger and larger percentage of everything that came into us. Over about a two year period we began to give a lot more money away than we had ever thought we would be able to give away.  Because we did that first, it seemed God really blessed that. During that-two year period we moved from just barely getting along to having sufficient for all of our needs plus money to give away.  So that was one of the keys.

I’m sure that not everyone should do it that way, but the principle is right and the idea is right.  God wants us to be generous. If you’re not being generous then perhaps you have a “receiving mentality”.  Here is a way to test that:  If you meet people who you think are wealthy and then you think, “maybe they’ll be a supporter”,  that’s a sign you’re a receiver.  You want to get out of that frame of mind and  spirit because God loves cheerful givers.

I’m sure He likes us to cheerfully receive too. But its generosity which reflects God’s character and person. The second thing that God dealt with us about was helping people to not just give, but to feel that they are a port of what we are called to.

We want to be team with people and to do that you have to communicate, and communication is something that requires self-control and discipline.. Ask people if they’d like to stay in touch. And thenkeep the contact. And then and then you need to write letters that are reasonably personal to them. Then. I would do a regular newsletter that we try to keep as personal and self revealing as possible and descriptive. So people really felt they were part of our lives. But then we were also Marti especially would write personal handwritten notes on the bottom of those. So you know we started off with maybe I don’t know 20 people or so. And then we added and it was between two of us. You may say I don’t have 20. Well maybe not. You might have five. But if you’re coupling between two you might have 10 or 15 or 20 and start there and write those personal notes and communicate well and get people feeling like they are really part of your team and that. They should and can be praying for you on a very regular basis.

So those are two of the things that really helped and I’ll talk about another one but I think I’ll save that for the next video.

Lynn Green.

 

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