Generosity should cost us. Often our imaginations fail us when it comes to finding ways to be generous at a cost to ourselves. So today, we’re getting our resources ready to move into truly sacrificial generosity – that generosity that’s terrifying, wildly fun, and, if we’re ready to let it be, transformative.
Green: Make a pot of money – a Giving Account, or a literal pot of cash – for you to use only on generosity.
Amber: Decide to give a weekly chunk of cash into that pot. Even if it’s only a couple of pennies.
Red: Decide to give an amount of money, into that pot. Get specific: redirect money you would spend on every Tuesday’s coffee, for example
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” (Proverbs 11:24 NIV)
At 18 years old I turned to my boyfriend and said, ‘If we want to get married one day, we should probably start saving now.’ I’m not sure what is more shocking, the fact that I was thinking about marriage at 18 or that he agreed.
I love meeting up with my friends for food or coffee, but in that season I had to say no to some invites or suggest more affordable plans. Once we were sure that getting married was what we wanted to do we made it a number one priority, which called for a major shift in our attitude towards our money.
Cinema trips turned into movie nights at home and dinners out turned into dinners in. As much as I didn’t always like it in the moment, I knew that’s what I had to do.
When farmers plant a crop they don’t just throw seed and hope for the best. They know how much they will sow and when they will sow it. Whether it’s a wedding, a car, a house or a holiday that we want, the truth is if we sow into our savings we’ll reap the harvest of being able to pay for the things we desire. What if we saw generosity the same way? What if being generous was a venture to save for?
Let’s be intentional about generosity. Why not set aside that extra bit of time and money each month to not just sow into our own futures but to sow into someone else’s? I used to fear generosity because I thought it always had to be a spontaneous sacrifice that threw off my budget or plans. Yes, being generous is often a sacrifice, but it’s something we can and should plan for.