Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Last week, we attended family camp at Fort Wilderness. Our speaker for the week was Pastor Brian Kluth, speaker and writer on generosity, God’s provision, and legacy living. He spoke on many topics during the week that resonated with and challenged me, but there is one takeaway that I am especially excited to share with you.
Kluth shared the concept of what I will call Building a Blessings Budget. As Christians, we are called to be cheerful givers. One way can develop this attitude in giving is by recognizing the blessings we have received. Kluth recommends that, at the end of each week, we sit down with our spouses (if married) and recall all of the blessings we received over the course of that week. For example:
Monday: Joe covered the bill when we met for breakfast (even though I was prepared to pay).
Tuesday: I received a rebate check in the mail.
Wednesday: My friend gave me a book I had been planning to purchase.
Thursday: I earned a free subscription to a magazine I like.
Friday: I got a free pizza from my filled in punch card.
Saturday: A friend dropped off a bag of clothes for our son.
Next, we would attribute a monetary value to each of those blessings; let’s say $10 each for Mon-Fri, and $40 for Saturday. Total: $90.
From that $90, we would then set aside 10% (or whatever amount God prompts you to set aside) into a Blessings account. Continue to do this every week. Then, as you feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to give to others (missionary support, homeless man, pay for someone’s groceries, etc.), you can draw from your Blessings Budget.
Let me note that this is above and beyond our normal, regular giving, which is referred to as a tithe (or 10% of our gross income) in the Bible. We should always be giving God the first of what we have received.
Here are some more kinds of blessings money:
- birthday money
- free month’s rent
- free movie rentals
- someone paying for your meal, your gas, your coffee in the Starbucks’ drive-thru line, your groceries
- unexpected checks in the mail
- hand-me-down clothes from friends
- fresh produce from a neighbor
- free car, lawn mower, tool, or other practical item you are in need of
- bonuses at work
- receiving a meal
What I love about this practice is it requires that we look for and acknowledge-with our minds and wallets- all of the blessings that come our way on a weekly basis. It’s so easy to be the recipient of a small, unexpected kindness and then to forget all about it. But, to intentionally recall it, and in gratitude set aside a portion of their value to pay forward in the future- that is the real blessing in action.
God loves a cheerful giver, and how can we help but be cheerful (or hilarious, as it is translated) about giving from the overflow of our own blessed lives?
How have you been blessed this week? Will you set a portion aside to bless others with when the opportunity arises?