News

5 Ways to Develop a Habit of Generosity

5WAYS
One of the kindest things that someone can say about you is that that you are a generous person. We all love being around generous people. Sometimes we may think that generosity is something for people with disposable income and time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Generosity is something that we can all develop in our life, but it requires intentionality.
Here are some ways to develop a habit of generosity:

1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
God, in his wisdom, knew that not everyone could give the same amount. So instead of putting a minimum fixed amount, he gave his people the principle of the tithe. The 10% principle ensures that you can be faithful to God’s directions for generosity in your actual life.

The most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything, but only in giving. ~ 19th century Evangelist & Author, Henry Drummond

2. Start giving something.
If you are not ready to tithe 10%, but you want to grow in generosity, start right where you are. Start giving something. It could be $10 a month. Build a healthy habit of giving something, and then over time increase that amount as you are able.

One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (Proverbs 11:24)

3. Create a budget.
It’s hard to be intentional without a plan. A budget allows you to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where all your money went. You may be surprised by how you are currently spending your money. You may find areas where you can save money. Building a generosity habit requires intentionality, and it should be part of your budget every month.

You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving. ~Missionary Amy Carmichael

4. Build a generosity plan.
If you are ready to give beyond the tithe, support missionaries, or give towards special projects, you’ll need to plan for it. You could create a special checking account for above-and-beyond generosity. When an opportunity to bless others comes up, you can know how much you have and you can give directly from that account.

Giving is true having. ~ Preacher & Author Charles H. Spurgeon

5. Whatever you give, give joyfully.
As you build this generosity habit, joy is the key. Your ability to bless others should remind you of God’s blessing in your life. That should stir up joy in your own heart.

“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.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

The Bible talks a lot about money. This might make us uncomfortable sometimes. That discomfort probably comes from our recognition that we might not be as generous as we would like to be.

Money Myth #5: If I Give, I Can’t Have Nice Things

5
Jesus talked about money . . . A LOT. He told us, “Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is no surprise that talking about money is a sensitive issue; it’s tied to our hearts. When our heart attitudes are confronted with truth, we always react. Do we get angry? Do we leave the conversation? Or do we humbly change? Much of our sensitivity comes from misconceptions/myths about the Bible’s teaching on money. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the myths that people wrestle with.

Money Myth #5: If I Give, I Can’t Have Nice Things

Having nice things isn’t a bad thing. When Jesus reminds us that our hearts are tied to our treasure, he is giving us a warning. It’s easy for the things we own to own us. Anything we treasure above Christ, anything that keeps us from obeying his commands, that thing is an idol in our lives. Jesus wants to crush our idols. He wants to give us freedom. Sometimes that freedom is simply letting go of things we think we need to be happy.

Can followers of Jesus still have nice things? Yes. You can drive a nice car, have a nice house, and the latest technology. Before we acquire these things, we should ask some questions:

  • “Why do I want ______________?”  If we are thoughtlessly purchasing, we are being reckless, and will never feel like we have enough. We should evaluate every purchase.
  • “Can I afford this?” Do you have money to buy this? Credit is an easy way to get things so we can keep up with the Joneses. Abusing credit is also an easy way to destroy your future. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Trust me, you will be ok using an old phone, or wearing the same outfit, or driving an old car.
  • “Does this purchase help me honor God? If you are purchasing something that will lead you to sinful behavior, the answer is no. If you are purchasing something that is neutral and you have the money to purchase it, great, enjoy. If this purchase is to build your own status, then you are trying to honor yourself. If you are buying something nice as a celebration of God’s provision, and you are being a good steward then that’s wonderful. For example, if you are buying a gift for your spouse for your anniversary, you might spend a significant amount on something that would celebrate God’s grace and provision in your relationship.

Money Myth #4: My Offering Doesn’t Really Make a Difference

MYTH4
Jesus talked about money . . . A LOT. He told us, “Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is no surprise that talking about money is a sensitive issue; it’s tied to our hearts. When our heart attitudes are confronted with truth, we always react. Do we get angry? Do we leave the conversation? Or do we humbly change? Much of our sensitivity comes from misconceptions/myths about the Bible’s teaching on money. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the myths that people wrestle with.

Money Myth #4: My Offering Doesn’t Really Make a Difference.

There is great article from Relevant Magazine titled, “What Would Happen If the Church Tithed?

We might think our tithe is such an insignificant amount that it doesn’t really make a difference. We might look around our church and think, “there are plenty of people here who give, the church doesn’t really need my money.” Both of those statements focus on ourselves instead of what God wants to do through our obedience.

The local church is resourced by the tithes of their community. The Relevant article points out that, on average, 10-25% of a local congregation tithes. Imagine what could happen in Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and the surrounding region if everyone followed Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 23:23. If everyone who calls Creekside their home church tithed, we would have no problem funding the ministries that Jesus has called us to. We would be able to launch multiple campuses. We would be able to build churches around the world. We would be able to serve our community in a way that would get their attention, and we would have more opportunities to point them to Jesus and his love, grace and mercy.

Your offering makes a tremendous impact in helping the church help people discover, trust and love Jesus.

Money Myth #3: I Made This Money

MYTH3
Jesus talked about money . . . A LOT. He told us, “Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is no surprise that talking about money is a sensitive issue; it’s tied to our hearts. When our heart attitudes are confronted with truth, we always react. Do we get angry? Do we leave the conversation? Or do we humbly change? Much of our sensitivity comes from misconceptions/myths about the Bible’s teaching on money. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the myths that people wrestle with.

Money Myth #3: I Made This Money.

Everything we have comes from God. Our life, our time, our energy, etc. We didn’t make any of it. This passage from the Old Testament is a great reminder to this truth.

“You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

When we give tithes and offerings we are remembering where our ability to make money comes from in the first place.

Money Myth #2: If I Give, I Will Get Rich

MYTH2
Jesus talked about money . . . A LOT. He told us, “Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is no surprise that talking about money is a sensitive issue; it’s tied to our hearts. When our heart attitudes are confronted with truth, we always react. Do we get angry? Do we leave the conversation? Or do we humbly change? Much of our sensitivity comes from misconceptions/myths about the Bible’s teaching on money. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the myths that people wrestle with.

Money Myth #2: If I Give, I Will Get Rich.

I am always confused when people look to following Jesus as a way to get rich. This conversation shows us how misguided this notion is:

“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:57–58)

If Jesus was essentially homeless, and had no possessions then, why would we think he would promise to make his followers rich? Giving with the hope that God will make us rich is not an act of worship. That attitude is giving as an investment in ourselves. Such an attitude does not honor God. God does promise that he will provide for us, and that we will prosper.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)

The word “prosper” is where we need to build clarity. Prosperity doesn’t mean you will be filthy rich if you give. But we can have confidence that God will provide for us, as we trust him and obey his commands around stewarding the resources he has blessed us with.

Money Myth #1: The New Testament Doesn’t Talk About Tithing.

MYTH1Jesus talked about money . . . A LOT. He told us, “Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It is no surprise that talking about money is a sensitive issue; it’s tied to our hearts. When our heart attitudes are confronted with truth, we always react. Do we get angry? Do we leave the conversation? Or do we humbly change? Much of our sensitivity comes from misconceptions/myths about the Bible’s teaching on money. In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the myths that people wrestle with.

Money Myth #1: The New Testament Doesn’t Talk About Tithing.

Paul talks about receiving offerings for the work of the ministry and for the poor, and giving in proportion to what an individual earns. In these cases the word “tithe” is not used. People often take that to say tithing isn’t a New Testament principle. But Jesus does talk about tithing. Jesus says this:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23)

Jesus is confronting legalism in the religious establishment. The religious experts were sure that they needed to tithe everything. They even tithed out of their herb garden. But they were missing the point entirely. The tithe was supposed to be collected by the priest and used to fund the work of the temple, provide for the priests, and to be distributed to the poor in their community. The pharisees were tithing but they were not doing so in a way that was motivated by justice, mercy and faithfulness.

In this passage, Jesus is telling us that we should give our tenth, and pursue justice, mercy and faithfulness. Jesus never said to stop tithing. Tithing isn’t what saves us from our sins; Jesus alone does that. But when we tithe with a heart towards justice, mercy and faithfulness, we are transformed. Instead of giving merely out of duty and the burden of obligation, we give as an act of worship to God.

Family Talk from April 24, 2016

Creekside Church exists to help people discover, trust and love Jesus. That is our mission and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure we stay focused on that mission. Sometimes that means that we need to have some hard conversations. On Sunday pastor Jason shared an important update about our financial realities. If you were unable to be with us in Sunday please take some time to watch this video or listen to the audio.

If you have any questions please email jdeuman@thecreeksidechurch.org

 

Audio:

This week we will also be posting some blog posts about ways that we can honor God with our finances. Be sure to check back throughout the week.

04/24/16 Luke: The Authority of Jesus

Luke: A New Way To Live

Speaker: Jason Deuman
Text: Luke 7:1-17
Big Idea: Jesus’ Authority is Limitless.

Audio:


Download Audio

Video:


Subscribe to our weekly audio podcast here: iTunesRSS .

Subscribe to our weekly video podcast here: iTunesRSS.