Do You Have a Giving Goal?
Over the first 33 years of my life, I probably gave less than $2,000 to the church and charity . . . total!
But when God showed up in my life, I quickly realized that He owned everything. My career, my wife, my kids, my health . . . everything. As I started to read the Bible, I was hit with verses like “everything in the heavens and on earth is yours O Lord!” and “by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” I wanted God, my boss, and everyone else to be generous with me, but I hadn’t ever been generous . . . didn’t really even know what it meant. But I knew God wanted my heart . . . my whole heart. And that money was a big thing for me, if not an idol, at least a major distraction. I had a problem. A selfishness problem.
I was taught that you don’t solve problems . . . you set goals.
I had set goals for weight loss, exercise, savings, quiet times, reading . . . just about everything, but never giving.
So, I sat down after Christmas and worked on setting a giving goal. I started with what a tithe would look like based on what I expected to earn next year. Next, I figured out what we should save and wrote that number down. Then I built our budget, estimating what we’d need to live on, adding in about 5% for unexpected stuff. So, total expected income, minus tithe, minus saving, minus living expenses equals surplus.
And here’s where I made the big change. I looked at the surplus and decided to set a goal . . . a hard number . . . just for that year. I talked to my wife about it, got her support. We prayed about it and then I wrote it down where I kept my goals.
In my mind, the first checks I gave throughout the year were counting toward my tithe. But when I reached that number, it started to be fun. I was in “uncharted territory.” I had never given God this much money in my whole life! But it was so cool to write those checks . . . not telling anyone about what I was doing . . . just giving to God’s work and loving it.
I’ve been setting a giving goal every year since . . . 35 of them. In a few of those years, I’ve been blessed to far exceed my goal. One year, I had to borrow the money to make it. But I made it. In fact, while I’ve missed almost all my exercise and weight loss goals, I’ve never missed a giving goal.
Will you join me? Will you set a giving goal?
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Thank you my brother, I will start too!
Question: Sir sometimes I feel like a walking dead man spiritually! At one I believe I was closer to the Lord then I do right now! How can I revive my walk with Christ and finish this walk out well? I sit in church and at times I just feel like a dead man! any words of encouragement would be much appreciated! Your brother in Christ Andrew Miller!
Andrew, here’s three things I’ve found to help.
1. Go back in your mind to the place, day, time, people and situation where you first realized you were separated from God. There’s likely and expectation that wasn’t met, either by yourself, other people or God Himself. Someone must be forgiven and your will must be yielded to His.
2. Pull out your 5 or 6 favorite praise and worship songs. Get somewhere where you can sing to your Father and sing those songs out loud. Praising Him brings Him near. This restores my soul.
3. Read the red letter words in the New Testament, praying that the Holy Spirit will speak to you. Give you energy to do what Jesus did, whatever that was in the Scripture you’re reading.
Hope that helps.
Great advice to have a giving goal. And like any other goal, it needs to be written down, measurable, with clear tactical elements to achieve it, and have an end date.