Most of us grew up with a skewed understanding of money and possessions. Consequently, a wrong perspective has landed us in a financial crisis and fiscal uncertainty. Would you agree that your current way of viewing and managing your money isn’t getting you where you want to be financially? Remember doing more of what you’ve always done will only get you more of what you’ve already gotten. Do you need help? Perhaps a new paradigm is in order.
Here are three steps to move you from financial stress to financial peace.
1. Examine your heart.
Our use of money is a mirror of our heart. It’s been said, “Follow the money.” When you follow the money it will reveal what you are devoted to and what is important to you. Your use of money is the best indicator of your heart’s desires. The adventure to a life of blessing that comes through generosity always begins with a heart that is open to God and selfless to others.
We will be generous precisely to the extent that we have a proper view of God and his involvement in our daily life. If we separate God from life, then we’ll feel obligated to hoard our wealth because we are in charge of everything. But if we understand that he is the Lord of all of life, including the tiniest details, and then we are free from the need to trust in our wealth. We can give it away, knowing that we’ll have everything we need when we really need it. A proper view of God leads to a generous view of life, which is why giving ought to be as natural for the disciple as breathing.
2. Consider your actions.
Once you have looked at your heart, then it’s time to consider your actions. God has been generous to us; therefore, we are to be generous to others. God has blessed us; therefore, we are to bless others. When we are generous, God often gives us more so we can give more. Randy Alcorn in his book The Treasure Principle wrote, “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving.”
Being generous is to stretch ourselves beyond the norm, beyond what is expected. Instead of giving the minimum you stretch yourself to take larger steps of faith. Instead of giving 10% to the church you give 11% or 12% or 15% or 20% and increasing every year. Being generous is the desire to help others, responding spontaneously when you see a need. Being generous is a lifestyle that flows out of knowing the greatest giver of all—God.
3. Enjoy your reward.
When the heart is right and we are generous with what God has provided, then we can enjoy our reward. We live in such a way now that our future experience in heaven is enriched. But the return is not just for the distant future. We will have benefits for today, too. True life is real life, abundant life, life that goes beyond mere existence, life as God intend it to be, a supernatural life. Generous Christians discover this life while stingy Christians never enjoy it. Those who dare to become generous end up benefiting from life on a level that those who hoard their wealth never experience.