Shows Main Idea – I’m not a fan of the tithe/tithing language in our Christian culture because the Bible does not teach that Christians should give ten percent of their income. But how do you know if a person is a generous giver? I have sixteen questions that will help you examine where you stand with money.
You may want to read:
- His Money, Her Money Does Not Make Biblical Common Sense
- Guidelines for Making Decisions As a Couple
- Nine Tips for Managing Your Time and Calendar
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” – 2 Corinthians 8:11-15
- Do I believe that the money I have is my money? One of my “job titles” is, I’m a “Business Manager for God.” It’s not mine, but His, and I’m to steward what He gives me.
- Am I a generous person, which implies money but also my time and gift-mix—the skills that the Lord has given to me. Plus things like my communication, i.e., do I talk to others, build up others, confront others, etc.?
- Is my “current reduced giving” a seasonal thing or a long-time pattern in my life? There are times when things are tough, but is there a systemic problem with a lack of giving, or reduced giving?
- Would others characterize me as a generous giver of money? (This part is tricky since we should not “advertise” such things, but if others do know about my spending habits, would they say that I’m more selfless or selfish?)
- Are there inconsistencies in my financial stewardship like paying a lot for mobile phone plans, cable plans, expensive cars, or other things while not willing to be generous with the Lord’s money toward the church and other organizations?
- Am I teaching our children about generosity? Kids “catch” more of what we are than what we teach. They either model it or react to it by choosing another way to live differently from us, whether right or wrong, morally speaking.
- If Jesus perused my spending, what would He conclude? Or, more transparently, would I give my income and expenses to someone to study and give feedback on what they observe?
- Do I know the difference between needs and desires, and are their a few desires that I could cut out of the budget?
- Do I have a budget?
- Am I beholding to the prosperity gospel in any way? How do I know if I am? E.g., Do I believe in an “if I do good, God will reward me accordingly” formulaic view of the Lord?
- Are there other areas where I horde or I’m greedy? How does selfishness play out in my life, i.e., communication, tech things I enjoy, binge TV viewing, eating habits, or pet preferences like hobbies?
- Do I spontaneously and premeditatively help others financially?
- Do I give because of the fear of man? Is my giving more about my reputation?
- Am I saving money for the future? If not, why not?
- Do I use the rationale of “giving my skills to others” as a way to soothe my conscience so I don’t have to give money to others?
- Do I have “pneumatic need awareness?” Meaning, I can see/perceive needs and I’m willing to inquire and explore because the Lord has geared my heart toward generosity?