4 Actions to Create a Generosity Plan
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with budgeting, especially when it helps us be better managers of all God has entrusted to us. But, if budgeting only serves as a more efficient means accumulating possessions we might need a spirit check.
I think most Christians really want to be generous. Few followers of Jesus want to be known for their stinginess. One problem we face is the lack of intentionality in giving. Too often, giving is an afterthought – as if we don’t consider it until the mortgage, water, power, gas, car, groceries and kids’ activities have all been paid. Today, I want to give a brief, but I hope helpful, action plan that points toward a lifestyle of generosity. It is focused on saving some here and there to have more to give later.
1. Cut back on the number of times you eat out.
According to a recent article in Forbes, Americans spend more than $900 each year eating out for lunch. That does not include other meals we eat in restaurants solely for convenience. If we ate out at lunch half as much as we do, that would potentially free hundreds of dollars a year to give to God’s work.
2. Order smaller meals when you do eat out.
Almost no American needs to supersize a meal. Order the regular portion and save the difference to give later. Some full-service restaurants include so much food on the order, it’s almost impossible to eat it all. Consider sharing a meal and give the cost savings later to a person in need.
3. Sell things you no longer need.
Have you ever noticed the longer you live, the more stuff you seem to collect? Remember that boat/car/collectible you could not pass up? How many times have you thought recently, “I should go ahead and sell that?” Perhaps you should. The money tied up in that asset might fund a child (or children) for summer camp, send someone on a mission trip, increase a building fund, or feed many hungry families.
4. Designate a portion of your income as a Generosity Fund.
One thing that hinders us is thinking we do not have enough money to make a difference in someone’s life. Frankly, if seventy cents is the difference between regular fries and supersized, that will not go far. But what if we set aside all of our small savings for a big opportunity to give? What if we ate out ½ the times of the average American and saved $350 between January and November, saved another $100 by ordering smaller portions, then sold an item or items throughout the year, totaling $550? When December came around, we could have as much as $1,000 to fulfill a purpose in God’s kingdom.
Maybe this is one way in which we see 2 Corinthians 9:8 fulfilled in our own lives: “And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work” (HCSB).