Do Your Giving While You're Living
Who are the happiest clients in the wealth management firm I work in? Are they the ones who have the most comprehensive financial plans, spelling out the answer to every possibility? Or are they the ones with the most tax-efficient investment portfolios or the best estate plans? Surely it must be the ones who have the most money available to them.
Actually, it appears to me that among the happiest of our clients are those who have learned to give beyond what they ever anticipated.
They are the people who aren’t stressed about the stock market, or who aren’t wondering if they need to increase their savings rate. They have learned to make giving to the work of God a priority. They actively look for more ways they can give.
And when they come into the office for a quarterly financial review, they aren’t concerned primarily with the value of their assets. They are the ones who can’t wait to talk about the global projects with which they are involved. Maybe they’ve chosen to sponsor church planters in rural North India. Or they have underwritten a project to translate the Bible into the heart language of an unreached group. Perhaps they’ve brought clean drinking water and the message of Jesus to a people group where the Gospel had never been preached, addressing their physical and spiritual thirsts.
Here at the firm I lead, we say that we provide “Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.” On the surface, we do provide financial planning and wealth management that we believe is second to none. But we want our clients to know when “enough is enough,” meaning when they have enough financial wealth to retire. We focus on helping our clients plan their finances wisely and to experience the joy of trusting God with the future and giving with an open hand.
As a colleague of more than 30 years says,
“Do your giving while you’re living, so you’re knowing where it’s going.”
The joy that permeates those who have learned to give generously, even extravagantly, to see God’s work accomplished today, far exceeds any pleasure that I see in the eyes of those who carefully hold onto their money.
To those who haven’t yet developed the joy that comes from intentional, missional giving, I ask:
Are you experiencing the delight that comes when you see that you can have an out-sized impact that will last eternally?
What is keeping you from giving of your earthly assets in this way?
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they make take hold of the life that is truly life.”
I Timothy 6:18-19
Written by Russ Crosson