Five Things For Young People – Here is #6: Develop a Giving Heart

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Yesterday I was at the store and was checking out.  I paid with cash as I always do according to our family credit card use guidelines.  Typically I am pretty good with math, but somehow I got flustered and couldn’t get the math straight. I ended up giving the cashier 46.10 for a 36.02 purchase (instead of 36.10).

Moral of the story: I am not infallible and make mistakes.

This post is one I have avoided because I have not been sure how to approach it.  When I initially outlined the ‘five things every young person should know’ series I had one of those articles focusing on giving.  Somewhere between conception and publication the article was overlooked.  Now here is my quandary.  How do I go back and say that this one is likely the most important (as I think it is).  I decided to just (1) admit my mistake, and (2) present the post for you to incorporate into your financial plan.                                               Photo by DerrickT

It is quite possible that no one has taught you about giving.  It’s something we neglect in our school curriculum, shy away from in our churches, and ignore in our homes (and sometimes we even just plain forget to mention it).

Here is why you should develop a giving heart now:

Money is like your dog.  You either train it or it is going to completely mess up everything.  Money is not lifeless like a rock or stone.  Instead, money wants to get under you skin.  It wants to become a part of your lifeblood.  It wants to dictate your actions and passions.  You, instead, must master your money.

Jesus said:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24, NIV)

The way you master money is you do the opposite of what it desires.  Money wants to be owned, desired, and possessed.  So what is the opposite?  To give.  When you give money you release yourself from its ownership.  You tell your money that it does not control you.  And when you give, your heart changes.  You find that other things are more meaningful to you – like the joy of giving.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, NIV)

I would suggest that you start giving at least 10% of your income today.  We all know you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so the sooner you develop the habit, the better.  If you are responsible with what you have today you will be more likely to be responsible with what you have tomorrow.  Don’t wait to give until you make more money because you will never make enough.  Instead, commit today to give a part of any of your sources of income.  This includes pay and gifts.

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”” (Acts 20:35, NIV)

If you are interested in developing a giving heart I suggest you check out these posts:

How Much Should I Give?

Why Should I Give?

How Should I Give?


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