The Giving Emergency Stockpile and Strategy

Lots of financial folks advocate the importance of having an emergency fund. I'm one of those folk. The fact is that you will almost certainly have a financial emergency in your life.  The question is more likely when and what.  The wise thing to do in these situations is to be prepared in advance for something that is 'unknown'. There have only been a couple of times in my life when I've … [Read more...]

Should You Support People in Ministry Who Live More Extravagantly Than Yourself?

Generous giving often requires sacrificial living. What happens when a Christian sacrifices to give to someone in ministry, but the person in ministry doesn't sacrifice to the same level? What should you do when you cut eating out from your budget to support a missionary who you hear is eating out? What should you do when you stop taking vacations to support a ministry, and the key leader … [Read more...]

Is the Rich Fool the Modern Day Retiree?

I believe that we all know the story of the 'rich fool' (Luke 12:13-21). A few weeks ago, I was listening to a sermon podcast by John Piper (Let's Be Rich Toward God), and I got the most unpleasant feeling in my stomach.  He correctly noted that the problem with the rich fool was that he stored up riches for himself and was not rich towards God. Part of the issue is the man's approach, … [Read more...]

Graduated Tithe to the Rescue | How it Helps to Curb Your Desire for More

Early into my blogging adventure, I discovered two elements that I felt were important characteristics of Money Help for Christians: The journey - I intentionally positioned myself as a person experimenting, exploring, and searching for answers within the field of Christian finances.  I'm still clearly on the journey, though thankfully many things are clearer to me now than they were three … [Read more...]

What to Do When You’re Afraid to Give

This article is part of the MH4C Writers Challenge. Since I'm taking a little break over the next few weeks, I've chosen ten guest articles to feature on this blog. I'd like to see which articles you like the most. If you like an article, please take a moment to 'Like' it on Facebook, 'Tweet' it, or give it a 'Plus One' on Google +. (To the right of the title, you'll see each of those buttons so … [Read more...]

Barn Building and the Challenge of Too Much

This article is part of the MH4C Writers Challenge. Since I'm taking a little break over the next few weeks, I've chosen ten guest articles to feature on this blog. I'd like to see which articles you like the most. If you like an article, please take a moment to 'Like' it on Facebook, 'Tweet' it, or give it a 'Plus One' on Google +. (To the right of the title, you'll see each of those buttons so … [Read more...]

When Helping Goes Terribly Wrong: The Risk of Giving

Last Sunday, I was driving down the road with my wife and kids in the truck. In the back of the pickup (a common way to transport people here), I had two teenage girls who I was taking home. As we rounded a corner, a guy flagged me down for a ride. Wanting to be a nice guy, I stopped the truck. Immediately, the guy grabbed a kid and ran and jumped in the back of the truck. I noticed that the … [Read more...]

Giving in Marriage | How to Develop Unity in Giving

The process of the Two becoming One can be difficult. Since couples often fight and disagree about money, you can bet they disagree about giving. In fact, I've seen a lot of emails and comments on this blog by spouses who are bitter towards the other for either giving too much or for inhibiting the other from giving. While every couple has their own pattern or system for giving, I thought today … [Read more...]

Are You Motivated by these 4 Wrong Motives to Give?

Giving is good, right? Perhaps. Deciding if something is good or not cannot be measured by externals. Instead, it must be measured by motives. The 'what are you doing' question doesn't get to the real heart of the issue. However, when we start to ask 'why are you doing it', we'll start making progress. Four Wrong Motives to Give 1. Giving Our of Fear or Guilt Have you ever seen … [Read more...]

When a Pumpkin Is More Valuable than a $1,000

We don't do it intentionally, but we do it. We mislabel and falsely recognize acts of giving as generous. I made a contribution to something recently, and the person responded back by saying thanks for the 'generous gift'. While I appreciate the effort to honor my gift, it made me realize that we misunderstand generosity. Here's how I think we typically define generous. The larger the … [Read more...]