I’ve been on a series of articles lately about the reasons we need to focus on saving money. I’ve dealt with everything from saving for emergencies, to saving for purchases, to saving for the children’s college and our own personal retirement.
I’m concluding this series today by proposing something that may seem radical. When I tell you this final reason why I believe we should save money, it’s going to seem contradictory and you may think I’m crazy. But I think the continual practice of this does more to enhance our lives than all the millions of dollars we could possibly accumulate.
To quote Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, we need to save money so that we can “Give it away now.”
“What! You mean to tell me I’ve been busting it my entire life to save and now you want me to simply give it away? That doesn’t make sense! I thought this money was for my families’ needs? I’m OK leaving an inheritance to my kids…but giving to other people or organizations? NO WAY! I built this nest egg…it’s mine.”
There is so much to unpack with this idea and this short post won’t address the totality of the concept. The first point I probably need to clarify though is that I’m not talking about giving away all our money. Obviously we have worked diligently to provide for ourselves with sound money management strategies. It would be unhealthy to dishonor that hard work by foolishly throwing money at every random cause that crossed our path.
What I’m talking about here is for us to foster a spirit of giving that we engage in for our entire lives. From my worldview perspective – which begins and ends with my relationship with God – what I accumulate is not my own anyway. It belongs to Him. And as I read the Bible, I see that God has a giving nature and He has passed that along to me. To deny that He wants me to give denies the very essence of what He created me to do.
There is something about giving that makes us a better person. Giving keeps us from believing the lie that life is all about us. It gets us outside of ourselves so we can see the needs of others. It’s the alter ego that brings balance to our striving-to-get-rich personality. And it brings peace and blessing to our lives that I really cannot describe.
The cool part is that you don’t even have to give in extraordinary amounts to reap the personal and spiritual benefits. In the Bible Jesus says in Matthew 10:42, “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” Just a cup of cold water brings a reward. How hard would that be to give?
However, it would also seem the rewards of giving are proportional. In the book of II Corinthians I read, ”But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (II Cor. 9:6).” So the more we give, the greater it would seem is the reward.
I realize this is very personal and you may not believe the spiritual angle I’m presenting here. However, each of us does have to decide when, where and how much of our money, or our time, or our talents and abilities to give away. I would encourage you to think those issues through carefully with the significant people in your life and then, just like everything else that relates to personal finances, develop a plan for your giving. My wife and I developed a giving plan several years ago and it has really helped us be intentional with our money and cut out some of the emotion that can be related to giving.
Giving can be part of our monthly budget, but I believe we should also give out of the tremendous savings we have accumulated over the years as we have diligently focused on building wealth. In the end, I choose to believe the Bible when it says “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).” I want to make giving it away the pattern of my life.
How does giving affect you? What is your favorite cause/charity/organization to give money to?
Click to read how Anthony Kiedis was on the receiving end of giving and how it impacted his life. Scroll down to “Lyrics and Meaning.”
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