Hope for your financial life and beyond

“Give It Away Now” – Saving to Give

Chili PeppersI’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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Next Post: How Does a 1040 Work?

Prior Post: 2 Huge Reasons We Need to Save to Build Wealth

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Comments

  1. I know I don’t give as much as I’d like to, both in regards to time and money. I do volunteer for things like habitat for humanity and junior achievement when able. My cousin was diagnosed with cancer last year, so I’ve given him money to help cover expenses.

  2. I’m on the fence about giving money – having worked for non-profits in the past, I’ve seen money wasted too easily. I do try to give back my time though – Brian and I try to volunteer at a few local events each year and I participate in a mentoring program at the local university.

  3. Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom says:

    Great Post Brian, and thanks to Shannon for tweeting it so I could find you. I can’t say I love giving money away but will say it’s very important and rewarding to me. I try to focus our giving towards small organizations with great causes and low overhead.

    • Thanks for stopping by Mandy. You bring up a good point about donating to organizations with low overhead expenses. I want my money doing the maximum effort it can for a cause, not getting eaten up in the organization’s salaries or electric bill.

  4. A sharing and giving spirit is something I’m working hard to instill into my girls. Everyone is great at spending money (LOL), few are good at saving their money and even less seem to focus on sharing their wealth. My girls know firsthand how good it feels to share their money, their toys and their clothes with others. To see how blessed they are, and to use their blessings to help those who could use a helping hand. As you know, my girls have save, spend and share goals and ever year they continue to put more and more money towards their share goals (far more than 10% of the money they earn and receive in a year) and it makes me so proud. Great article Brian!

    • It does bring a good feeling to me as a parent when I see my kids get this concept. This past Christmas all four of mine voluntarily pooled their money to purchase a package of gifts through Operation Christmas Child, which is an organization run by Franklin Graham that supports communities and kids around the world. That was an awesome sight to see them pick out the projects they wanted their money to go towards and be so excited about it.

  5. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Love the post Brian! Having a spirit of giving is so important for a number of reasons, most notably (as you said) because what we have is not ours anyway but comes from God. We’ve given to a few organizations in the past, but the bulk of our giving goes to our church.

  6. I like giving away to local organizations. Last year I gave back to ones that helped me when I needed help the most. It felt so good to give back to them 🙂

  7. I think our society as a whole would be better off with more voluntary giving to the poor by individuals and less forced “giving” to the poor through taxation and the government.

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup: Week of February 25, 2013 says:

    […] Having a sharing spirit is very important to me. Brian at Luke 1428 encourages us to go outside of ourselves so we can see the needs of others in Give It Away Now. […]

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