First it was stewardship, second it was budgeting. The third principle in the financial takeover series is giving. The concept of giving has been given a bad reputation in these economic times as most people are holding on to what they have. Some have dwindled giving to a self-motivated action. Giving has been viewed in many circles as an opportunity to get money, power, or fame. Is this right? Does it benefit the masses or does it benefit a certain group of people? You have to look at the intent.
I want to discuss the power of giving that benefit the masses which includes you. I am not talking about socialism. I am talking about the giving that pleases God. True giving helps people no matter their religion, nationality or culture. True giving does not gain recognition. True giving meets the need and in turn, meets your need. Understand when you honor God with our finances, He in turn will honor you. To better explain how God honors one in finances, let's look at 2 Corinthians 9:7-9. It states, you must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” God looks at your giving as an honor because you gave freely to those in need and He will reward you for that.
There are 3 areas of giving that can stimulate your financial takeover as well as share your resources with others. They are obedience giving, abundant giving, and sacrificial giving. Again, giving if executed will increase your finances because God will trust you with more of His resources to do the most good. As I stated in the first principle of a financial takeover, Psalm 24:1 says that the earth is the Lord's and fullness thereof. We don't own anything on this earth. We cannot take our gold, silver, or any investment with us when we leave this earth, we will wind up giving it away. .
Obedience giving is the type of giving sanctioned by God to support His church. This can be in the area of tithes and offering found in Malachi 3:8-11 or in Matthew 23:23. The tithe and offering supports the ongoing work of the church. Some have said that tithing is the byproduct of the law. One has to remember that tithing was started by Abraham in where there was no law. The law came later. Abraham gave tithes out of love in which the law could not command. He gave because of his devotion and love to God and God rewarded Abraham for his faithfulness. Again the promise that God has for you in giving can be referenced in Malachi 3:10-11.
The next area of giving is abundant giving. Abundant giving addresses a specific need through family, friends, or coworkers, etc. I am not talking about a handout but changing the lives of people who are in need. 1 John 3:17-18 states if someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion-how can God's love be in that person? Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Abundant giving is motivated by love. When we love ourselves, we will be more willing to share our love with others.
The last area is sacrificial giving. Sacrificial giving is abstaining from your wants or desires to meet and or exceed the needs of others. One example is supporting foreign work or supporting those who cannot support themselves. James 1:27 states that pure religion in the sight of God means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you with their material things. I have learned that to keep from loving money, I had to give some of it away for a mission greater than myself. For the scriptures states, that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Money is not inherently bad but the love of money can corrupt every motive. The sacrificial mindset moves your mindset from love to a compete stewardship. Again God's promise hold true for you as stated in Proverbs 19:17: Those who are kind to the poor lend to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.
As I have said many times, the purpose of money is not for hoarding but doing the most good. Money is designed to go from your hands to meet the need of others. Budget problems can be met if we just follow the principles of giving. Giving keeps your heart clean and your motives pure. In doing so, God will trust you with more. Know this, giving is better than receiving. How much more could we move our country out of economic fears if we start giving?
Cedric Dukes is an ordained deacon, author, speaker, and columnist. His book, Hostile Takeover - Manifesting God's Plan and Purpose for Your Finances, has changed the way people think about finances and has been featured nationally. You may contact him at www.cedricdukes.com