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Financial Finish Line Christian Giving

When helping clients with financial planning, there are two misconceptions I often encounter. 

Most people believe that “the more you have, the more freedom you have.” Yet I often see that the opposite occurs.  Frequently, the more financial resources you have, the more difficult life can become. 

Another misconception that I see is that folks often think that they will increase their giving at some later time, when their income and wealth increase.  In reality, giving often decreases as a percentage of income, as ones income increases.

As a result of these two paradoxes, nailing down the question of “How much do I really need?” can be truly pivotal point in an individual’s willingness and ability to exercise generosity. 

Determining Your Financial Finish Line 

Assuming you have established the intention to include generosity in your overall financial plan, it’s time to ask some tough questions. 

1- How much should I give?

2- How much could I give?
3- How much would I give?

The "should give" level can be defined by minimum expectations based on your faith tradition. This amount is generally recognized as 10% of income but, in many cases, can differ. The New Testament teaches that believers in Christ are under grace, not law.  We are given the  discretion to give cheerfully and in proportion to what we have received.

"Could give" is a level of sacrificial giving; it is the amount that you could give if you were to give up something else in exchange.

The "would give" level involves a dedicated commitment to give away any unexpected surplus that God may provide. The surplus may come in the form of an increase in income or a decrease in expenses. 
Unless you make a commitment to give the surplus, chances are that your spending will absorb it. 

Giving at any of the above levels of commitment can require restraint, dedication, and depending upon your personal situation, faith.  
For some of us, finding additional resources to pursue generosity could be as simple as reevaluating our lifestyle and our true needs vs. wants. Do we need to eat dinner out as often as we do? Do we always need the latest gadgets? Do we need another expensive watch or a vacation home?

There are no right answers to these questions. Only God has the answer for you.

Will you commit to prayerfully asking Him and waiting expectantly for Him to answer you?