Welcome to ‘More with Less’, a series about living an abundant life with fewer possessions. This series normally runs on the first Friday of the month but life threw me a curve last week and it’s a bit late. I hope you enjoy today’s installment and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section!
The biggest asset in my family’s money management arsenal might surprise you.
It’s not being thrifty, going without or wise investments.
It’s giving money away.
Since Ryan and I got married we have tithed 10% of our income to our church or missions-focused individuals or organizations and we occasionally give to charity on top of that. I don’t share this to brag or sound ‘holier than thou’. I simply believe that giving a portion of our income keeps money in perspective and is a discipline that helps us acknowledge that life is a gift from God.
As a Christian we take seriously the commandment to tithe and it works well for us to make it 10%. I know there are various ways of looking at this but I think the important thing is to give generously of all our resources (see 2 Corinth. 9:7). We don’t tithe so God will give us more money—we don’t put him in our debt by tithing. We do it because we recognize that we live under God’s grace and and we depend on him (not ourselves) to meet our needs. By giving at least 10% of our income we express our faith in and dependence on him. And he blesses our efforts. 2 Corinthians 9:10 says:
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
Did you catch that? It doesn’t say ‘increase the harvest of your income‘. It says ‘your righteousness’. Yes, sometimes the blessing does come in the form of money but it’s usually through growing righteousness as well as contentment, thankfulness and faith. I would much rather have those than a growing bank account.
If you’re not a Christian giving still provides opportunities to recognize needs outside your own and appreciate what you have. It can also keep your spending in check because you know you won’t be using a portion of your income on yourself. The discipline of generosity is beneficial whether you do it out of religious or personal conviction.
God has been extremely faithful to our family and we respond by being faithful ourselves. We reap amazing benefits because of tithing and I don’t believe we would be where we’re at as individuals or financially if we held tightly to our money. Because accumulating money isn’t our goal we focus on relationships with others and with God, which brings about the greatest blessings of all.