Archives For giving

       I’ve written a good bit of material designed to free people from the idea that the tithe is something they must do under threat of a curse from God. The giving standards in the New Testament are very different (and actually much more challenging) than those in the Old Testament. The teachings and example of Christ guide us into a mindset of giving that’s based on love for God and others – not just promises of blessings or threats of a curse.

       But I also understand why some people like to use the tithe as their standard of giving. It’s simple, straightforward, and gives you a guideline you can start using right away. (Assuming, of course, that you don’t try to set up a ton of rules to help you figure out how to tithe just right.) Freewill, sacrificial, generous giving motivated by love just isn’t quite as easy to figure out as a flat 10%.

       I came across a concept that I think can be helpful as a starting point – a way to think and pray about giving that will help you figure out what God wants you to do in your situation while also protecting yourself from lifestyle inflation. It’s called graduated tithing. The name aside, I think it can be a good way to think about your giving. Coming up with your own plan gives you an opportunity to consciously seek God’s will for your giving. Let’s look at it in more depth.

The Graduated Tithe

       I first came across the idea in an article that Craig wrote at Money Help for Christians. The concept of the graduated tithe seems to have originated with Ronald Sider in his book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity.

       Ron explains it this way. First, you start with a base amount. His family decided on a base figure that includes the current poverty level for his family’s size, plus costs for Christian education and college expenses, plus taxes, plus genuine emergencies. His family tries to give 10% of that base amount. Then, for each $1,000 of income above that base amount, they give an additional 5%. An example will help you see what I’m talking about.

       Let’s say you choose a base amount of $40,000. Here is what your graduated tithe (or giving system) would look like:

Income % to Give $ to Give Total Income Total $ Given Total % Given
$40,000 10% $4,000 $40,000 $4,000 10.0%
next $1,000 15% $150 $41,000 $4,150 10.1%
next $1,000 20% $200 $42,000 $4,350 10.4%
next $1,000 25% $250 $43,000 $4,600 10.7%
next $1,000 30% $300 $44,000 $4,900 11.1%
next $1,000 35% $350 $45,000 $5,250 11.7%
next $1,000 40% $400 $46,000 $5,650 12.3%
next $1,000 45% $450 $47,000 $6,100 13.0%
next $1,000 50% $500 $48,000 $6,600 13.8%
next $1,000 55% $550 $49,000 $7,150 14.6%
next $1,000 60% $600 $50,000 $7,750 15.5%
next $1,000 65% $650 $51,000 $8,400 16.5%
next $1,000 70% $700 $52,000 $9,100 17.5%
next $1,000 75% $750 $53,000 $9,850 18.6%
next $1,000 80% $800 $54,000 $10,650 19.7%
next $1,000 85% $850 $55,000 $11,500 20.9%
next $1,000 90% $900 $56,000 $12,400 22.1%
next $1,000 95% $950 $57,000 $13,350 23.4%
next $1,000 100% $1,000 $58,000 $14,350 24.7%

       After you reach a total income of $57,000, you’ll be giving away 100% of any additional money you earn. If your income was $75,000, you’d be giving $31,350 under this system – a little over 40%. At $100,000, you’d be giving away $56,350 or just over 56%.

       To use the graduated tithe (or giving system, I just like that better), you’d want to update your base amount every year. This will help account for changes in your personal situation, taxes, and most importantly – God’s will. He may lead you to give more in some years by choosing a lower base amount or to give less by choosing a higher base amount.

A Few Caveats About the Graduated Tithe

       I share this idea with you not to enforce a legalistic standard but to offer an alternative that will help you focus on giving more and not becoming greedy as your income rises. If you decide to use the graduated tithe, you should be very careful if it makes you begrudge giving and takes away the joy of sharing. If you don’t have love and give cheerfully, it’s not going to matter how much you give. In that case, you’re going to have to seek God’s heart and ask Him to help you have His love develop in you.

       Also, you should use this example as a guide – not a law. If your family is in a situation where this can’t work for you right now, then adapt it to fit God’s will for your giving. You’ll need to go through this planning process with a lot of prayer and request guidance from the Holy Spirit, but it can be something that helps you give generously in your situation.

       I really want to emphasize the fact that you need to seek God’s will on this. You shouldn’t use the tithe, the graduate tithe, or any other giving system as a replacement for prayer and discernment. God will guide you as you seek to please Him. Make that your primary goal and He’ll help you figure out what the right amount is for you.

Your Thoughts

       What do you think of the graduated tithe? Let me know in the comments below!

This article was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance as an editor’s pick!

Do you think you give enough to charity? Most likely the answer is no or maybe. I always think about how I could be donating more, or I always say “I’ll start donating more once I cross XX off my list of financial goals or when I have XX completed.”

Lately, it’s been that I’ll wait until my student loans are paid off. However, this list has the potential to be never ending, and I don’t want it to be like that.

I want to give to charity and need to stop making excuses.

I’m going to admit that I am guilty of not donating enough time nor money. We do donate, but not nearly enough in our eyes. The amount is barely even equivalent to 1% of our annual income.

I don’t know if you’re similar to me, but whenever I buy something for myself, I always triple-think about it. Would the money that I’m spending on this dinner be better spent by donating it to a family during the holiday season? Maybe a child could use new clothes also…

Also, whenever I go to any type of store, whether it be the grocery store, pet store or a clothing store, I am almost always asked if I would like to donate a dollar to their charity. Sometimes I do decline, but it nearly eats me alive when I think about how a dollar wouldn’t change my life, but a dollar could greatly change someone elses’.

Giving to a charity does not only have to constitute giving money. Giving to a charity can also be donating your time, as most likely, your time is invaluable.

Many charities cannot find enough volunteers to help out, which would make an endless amount of cash still not useful if they cannot find those willing to put in physical time.

Before, I would always use the excuse of not having enough time to volunteer. However, I truly did. Instead of going home and watching TV, I could’ve been dedicating just a couple of hours of my time to a charity every week. A couple of hours wouldn’t have killed me, and it could’ve made a large difference in the eyes of the charity.

There are many great reasons for why you should donate:

1.  You can really help someone.

Not everyone is fortunate in their life, and some things they cannot help. Also, the person may just be down on their luck lately and may just need quick help.

There are many examples of this, such as a young child whose parents cannot afford school supplies for them, or maybe they have a single mother who does not have enough time for them because they are constantly working. Or maybe someone just lost their job and just needs help until they get back on their feet.

2.  You’re going to spend it anyways.

If you have the money, you will most likely spend it. Instead of buying your 5th chocolate bar of the week, maybe you can designate a certain amount of money towards helping a charity of your choosing.

Dedicating just $30 of your monthly income will make a difference in someone’s life, especially if many more people started doing this. $30 is most likely not a lot to you, and will require you just to cut out one small thing out of your life every month.

3.  They are tax-deductible.

Yes, while some would like to think that they would never consider taking a tax deduction, it is a benefit, and there should be no shame in taking this. If you are helping the world, then you are helping!

Be a little creative when it comes to making a charitable donation. Think bigger than simple household items and start looking at less obvious items, like a vehicle or even a boat. Making boat donations in New Jersey is an easy process. This state in particular provides great tax benefits. In many cases, donating a boat is very simple, just select a charity online and fill out a few papers. Help out causes such as hunger, cancer, and homelessness while saving a little money during tax season. It’s truly a win-win situation!

Do you give to charity?

Do you believe that you give “enough”?

       Today, a reader named Melissa shared this comment on my summary of tithing in the Bible. (I’ve edited it a little for clarity, but I did not make any drastic changes.)

       “I have been a faithful ‘tither’ for years, raised by parents who were faithful tithers. And there has been something about ‘tithing’ that has always had this ‘check’ within me, even when I was adamant about ‘wanting to tithe’ and knowing ‘God’s promises’ about tithing. I began researching about tithing to basically find out where the 10% of all my gross income should be going. Let me tell you it has led down a completely different path!!!! It has led me closer and closer to who Jesus is: GRACE. Jesus IS grace personified. Grace presented giving over and over and over!!!!! I WAS a cheerful and faithful tither…now I will allow grace to lead me to be a cheerful and faithful giver!!!! I appreciate the revelation that the Holy Spirit has given you and others about giving from the heart and not tithing from a pocketbook. God is NOT about numbers!!!”

– Melissa

       In my response, I thanked Melissa for her comment because it’s exactly for people like her that I wrote those articles on tithing. You see, some people accuse me of being greedy, stingy, or just trying to make excuses not to give because of what I’ve written about tithing. Because I don’t teach tithing, they assume that I don’t want to give – or that if I do then I don’t want to do it generously.

       Nothing could be further from the truth! If anyone spends just a little bit more time reading what I’ve written about New Covenant giving and generosity, they’ll see that I am actually trying to teach us to be even more generous than what those who teach tithing demand.

       The difference is that I’m trying to point us to the ultimate example of giving: Jesus Christ. He is the full revelation of God’s will for us in all things, including giving. And while looking at Him and trying to follow Him, no one will be making excuses not to give. You can’t help but want to give to those in need in response to His grace, mercy, and generosity.

       We don’t need demands and obligations and curses to urge us to give if we will only look to Jesus and follow His example. Those who follow Jesus and abide in Him will have such overflowing love for God and others that you won’t be able to hold back their generosity. You don’t need to tell them to give 10% or be cursed and you don’t need to promise them riches and blessings to get them to give. They want to give because they have God’s love living in them!

       This is the real purpose of my articles about tithing. It’s not to excuse us from giving. It’s not to find a way to give less. And it’s not to destroy churches and make them go bankrupt (yes, I’ve been accused of that). The real purpose of these articles is to open our eyes to the truth about giving. And that truth is found only in Jesus Christ – not in the Law.

       I want people to see that tithing as it is taught today is far from Biblically accurate. I want them to understand the grace we have received from and in Jesus. I want them to experience both the freedom and the joy that comes from giving with a pure heart motivated by love for God and love for others. I want them to get past this letter of the Law stuff and focus on the Spirit. It’s about a transformation of going from “What’s the least I must do to fulfill my obligation to God?” to “How can I more fully express my love for God and for people? How can I please and serve God completely?”. I want us to let go of the shadow and take hold of the the One who came. I want us to let Jesus be our example for giving and fully follow in His steps.

       I pray that all who read what I’ve written about tithing will realize that it’s not just about arguing over words and trying to make excuses or justify ourselves. My goal is not to cause more division, strife, or arguing, but to open our eyes to the truth in Scripture and gain a fuller understanding of what Christ did for us, what He wants us to do, and how we can start living that out. I will try my best to be clear about those things, but it doesn’t always come through.

       So just know that when you read something I’ve written about tithing it’s not so we can keep more for ourselves. It’s so we can let go of the shadow, cling to Jesus, and be free to experience the relentless, irrational generosity that God has for us and to begin sharing that with others.

Christianity, by tradition, has long affirmed the recognition of seven deadly sins. For those unfamiliar with them or the Christian tradition, they (as listed on wikipedia) are wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. These seven deadly sins are considered unhealthy vices. Christian history has used these speculate what a healthy lifestyle would look like. Basically, take all of these things – make sure you don’t do any of them – and you are set.

While it may not be this simple, it is essentially the point. The truth is though, that the seven deadly sins is often ignored or forgotten. Despite learning about them from the financially successful Hollywood film ‘Seven’ by Andrew Walker, starring both Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, I would wager a bet that most people in my generation have not learned of the seven deadly sins. In fact, even as a Seminary student (who also grew up in a Christian family), I had to look up the seven. I new a few of them from memory, but there is no way I could name them all.

As a result of which, I thought it would be interesting to use the seven deadly sins as a structure for a financial article. What might these teach us about smart financial management and how might our lives be different if we did or did not follow them.

1. Wrath: Wrath  is often used in the Christian tradition to refer to God’s anger. This the essence of what this deadly sin refers to. Falling victim to excessive amounts of anger can do terrible things for one’s financial state. Making decisions based on anger can lead one to ignore all signs of wisdom or advice. It is always important to try and reflect on your financial state with a sound mind.

2. Greed: Greed is the strong desire for wealth, money, goods, etc beyond a healthy limit. If you are interested in reading more about greed, be sure to check out my article What is Greed? Greed can also cause all sorts of unbalance with your finances. It can cause you to be disconnected from your family or gamble away your money. It’s always important to balance your desire for more wealth with things that truly matter.

3. Sloth: Other than the movie film’s character Sid the sloth from Ice Age, the word sloth is not often used in popular conversations. This may make it hard to understand, but refers (in this case) to apathy. Apathy or sloth can cause a huge financial disaster. Not caring about monitoring your finances or even budgeting can lead to financial ruin. Before you know it, you can overspend and find yourself wondering how you are going to pay off debt. Financial management is an on-going activity that requires action and attention.

4. Pride: I am sure everyone has felt proud of an accomplishment. There are certain degrees of pride that are healthy – such as celebrating an achievement. However, there are also forms of pride that take control of your life. Before you know it, you can feel unstoppable and take risks that are unnecessary and unprecedented. It’s always important to critically question your actions when managing your finances. Can I afford to take this risk? Would I lose to much? Is my reasoning for doing so justified? These are all important questions to ask.

5. Lust: Lust, the cheap version of love, is often understood as some sort of sexual fantasy. While it doesn’t have to be limited to this definition, even this understanding helps us understand something about finances. Ignoring lust teaches us to place value on something long-term – something more than just an momentary feeling of satisfaction. The inherent message of resisting temptation and holding on to previous commitments also parallels advice given for retirement – that is, buy and hold. Thinking long-term for financial investments is a great strategy.

6. Envy: When was the last time you were envious of your neighbors new car or nicer house? Is is this effort to keep up with the Joneses that puts a lot of American families in consumer debt. Envy, or wanting to have what other people have, can lead to unnecessary spending. Take extra care not to place value in possessions – for you will never be satisfied and always wanting more.

7. Gluttony: Gluttony or the over-indulgence is a theme that I think Americans know all too well. Traditionally, Americans are known for their big houses, big cars, and many possessions. It’s unfortunate but true to a certain degree. I know that I personally have realized how much stuff I can accumulate over time. It is a struggle at times not to satisfy that urge to buy more or even eat more, but it is a healthy practice to avoid doing so. This reminds you that giving should be an important aspect of your life as well as keeps you from completely buying into the consumerism myth that possessions will make you happy.

I didn’t realize it when I started writing this post, but it’s remarkable how well the old, Christian traditions still speak to the experience of contemporary American culture. Managing your finances is never black and white, but full of shades of gray. It means weighing options and deciding which is the best one. Hopefully these deadly sins will give you an idea of what not to do.

One of the most obvious bible passages that relates to personal finances is the story of the rich young ruler. The passage, which is found in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tells the story of a man asking what he needs to do to obtain eternal life. The question is one of the most pertinent questions because since those of us living in western society are the rich, it forces us to ask whether we need to give away all of our wealth. Does God’s message suggest those who are following Jesus to give away everything we have? Such an extreme message seems to suggest that financial planning of any sort is the opposite of what Jesus commands. This seems to be the opposite of what this blog is about, but if we refuse to go the extreme, do we lost the identity as Christians. This paradox is one that has puzzled the church for some time, so I thought I would spend some time reflecting on it.

Here’s the exact words from Mark 10:17-31:

17  And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22  Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again,“Children, how difficult it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,[b] “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfoldnow in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Initial Commentary on Rich Young Ruler Passage

There are a few preliminary points that I need to point out before reflecting on the question of whether you need to give away all of your wealth. The first, and perhaps more important, is our understanding of “eternal life.” Most often, in Christian circles, this is understood as the path to Heaven. When understood this way, the rich ruler’s question to Jesus seems to be phrased as such: “Jesus, what do I need to do in order to get into Heaven?”

This couldn’t be further from the truth of what he is asking Jesus. Instead, eternal life is more accurately referring to a way of life. In the same way that the “kingdom of God” is referring to a movement that Jesus is starting (instead of some place you go after you die), so is eternal life.  This interpretation is supported by Jesus’ response. He instantly refers to the commandments. The commandments were a part of the covenant of Israelites with God – it was about their life with God right now – in this world. Therefore, the rich young ruler’s question, when paired with this understanding of ‘eternal life’, affirms the importance of our action now.

A Possible Interpretation of Rich Young Ruler Passage

The question remains then, what should be the Christian response when it comes to using our wealth. Does this passage suggest that we need to give everything away?

While it may be tempting to support such an idea, I think reading the passage in this way is too simplistic and misses the point of the passage. Jesus’ point is not that everyone who is rich should give away everything that they have, but instead to point out that we are too strongly connected to our possessions. After all, verse 22 says,

 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (emphasis added)

I am not sure about you, but I know that I can relate to this state of being. I know that I am considered on of the richest people in the world. While I strive not to be tied down to physical items or consumed with buying the latest, fastest gadgets, it can be difficult at times. I think we can all relate to wanting the best stuff. The problem is too often we let our consumerism get in the way of following a better path. Instead of feeding the poor, or contributing to a better society, we are caught up taking care of our items. It was just today that I had to run to the DMV before work, drop off my car to get the oil changed, and will have to do several other errands this just to take care of my car. While it is a blessing to have such items, it can also be a curse, as it has the potential to drain all of my free time.

If we understand this passage this way, it helps re-affirm our act of being intentional with our finances. Planning, one of the core fundamental values of this blog, is supported. Following Jesus or even caring for others does not mean that we do the opposite of financial planning, but the exact opposite. In order to help others, we need to weigh the options and be purposeful to not get caught up in consumerism. Jesus asks us to step away from the distractions for the benefit of others. Last but not least, it is important to point out that I am not saying that you should forego giving. This isn’t in support of the idea of hoarding all of your wealth to yourself because it is yours and we are supposed to be wise with our money. Instead, this is an attempt to hold in tension the willingness to help others while also planning ahead for the financial needs that will come up with your family.

Do you identify with the rich young ruler? Is it difficult to avoid buying the latest items?

Have you ever wondered how much you NEED to give? Whether you are wondering about the standard amount of tithing or giving to charities, this is a very popular question. Regrettably, this question has been debated for decades (if not longer) with no happy answer. While I will work to answer this question, I want to point out that I don’t intend to give an easy answer. I won’t suggest that you should give this much or that much.

Should Giving be a Necessity?

The first thing I want to point out is that giving should not be a necessity. In my opinion, the question, “How much do I NEED to give?” is the wrong question to ask. In fact, it often misses the purpose of giving altogether. Let me explain. By asking how much do you need to give, you are looking for a set amount to satisfy some mysterious requirement. When we ask this question, as we often do, we are acting as if God wants us to give a certain amount away. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think God is about easy answers. The world that we live in is much more complicated than a simple black and white solution – It’s easy to see why this applies to giving. People’s financial situations are different for everyone, so how can there be a standard for giving?

More importantly, asking what is necessary to give away defeats the purpose of giving in the first place. Giving is suppose to encourage generosity and help for others. Asking this basic question, while it may be intended for good, is actually (at least partially) motivated by selfish desires to satisfy this false assumption of good. I know this to be the case for me. Usually when I ask how much should I give, I am trying to give the bare minimum to appease my conscience or guilt.

Giving Should Never Be Coerced

If you are asking this question, while it may be motivated by this desire to keep more money for yourself, it is moving in the right direction. Asking this question in the first place suggests that you recognize that the world is in bad shape and you want to contribute towards making it a better place. The simple fact is that no one is perfect. There is no ideal person for giving. If we wanted to, we could criticize everyone for being too selfish at times. The purpose is not point out everyone’s faults and therefore justify how we spend our money on ourselves, but instead move towards giving freely.

I should point out that giving should never be seen as a competition. The point isn’t all about just giving more, but changing the motivations behind our giving. After all, the widow’s offering shows us that it’s not the amount that is important, but the sacrifice.

Perhaps the question should not be how much do I need to give or even should I give… but instead, “Why Should I Give?” Perhaps when we begin to buy into this idea of generosity, we will move beyond these legalistic questions of how much or how little… Instead, we may be able to start making a difference in this world.

Why is Giving Important for You?

On the About page, I state that Provident Planning is dedicated to exploring God’s Provident Plan for the personal finances of Christians. But what does that mean? What is God’s Provident Plan? It’s God’s clear Biblical message that through contentment in Christ, diligent work, and good stewardship Christians can prosper so we can give generously in the name of Christ. By following the Provident Plan, Christians can glorify God through their finances.

This message is what I discovered as I have studied personal finance in the Bible. As a Christian and someone who studied financial planning in college, I wanted to know how I could give sound, Biblical advice, but I found so many conflicting opinions that I felt I should find out for myself. After searching for all the Bible verses I could find about personal finance, I began to see God’s wonderful plan for a Christian’s personal finances.

It’s not a plan focused on making Christians rich, or how we can retire early, or the things we can do to make us feel good about ourselves or our money. No – just like every other part of God’s plans for Christians it brings glory to His name and strengthens the witness of Christ in the world. If all Christians followed God’s Provident Plan for their finances, we would radically change the Church and the world. And while it involves how we handle our money – it’s all dependent and focused on the transformation that occurs when we fully give ourselves to Christ and realize the power of His death, resurrection, and the life we have in Him. Let’s take a closer look at each part of God’s Provident Plan.

Contentment in Christ

Once we have decided to follow Jesus, He becomes everything to us. We are in a continual struggle against Satan to keep other things (especially money) from taking the place of Christ. When we find contentment in Christ and Christ alone, the importance of money in our lives diminishes and pales to the value we place on Jesus. We learn the secret to being happy in all situations – whether we’re full or starving, rich or poor, employed or jobless, single or married – nothing in this life matters at all when compared to the glorious gift of Jesus and the fact that no one and no circumstance can take that away from us. We see everything in light of eternity, and we find that nothing on earth is of more value than our faith in Christ. We come to fully believe and trust that God cares for us and will provide everything we need.

Once we have this habit of always finding our contentment in Christ, the Spirit will teach us to place much less importance on material things. We will no longer be focused solely on our own needs and wants – an early retirement, a bigger house, a nicer car, and so on. Instead, we’ll be consumed with a desire to focus on the needs of others – to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and show God’s love to the world through our faith and our deeds. We’ll spend less and less on ourselves as we give more and more to others.

You can read more about contentment in the Bible here or by downloading a free copy of Contentment Is Wealth.

Diligent Work

Where contentment helps us to spend less on ourselves, understanding God’s call to work diligently helps us earn more money. As the gap between our spending and our income grows, we are left with more to manage wisely, prosper, and then give generously to the needs of others. The attitude and spirit we have as we approach our work can also glorify and honor God’s name. His witness can be seen in how we deal with people in our businesses and our motivation in our work.

You can read more about hard work in the Bible here.

Good Stewardship

While the Bible says little about financial planning as we know it today, God has shown us the value of using wisdom and prudence in managing our affairs. There are verses that speak to planning ahead, saving, avoiding debt, and other practical matters we will encounter in our personal finances. By wisely managing the blessings God provides (that gap between our income and our spending), we can be good stewards and have even more to give in His name.


As we follow God’s teaching on contentment, diligent work, and good stewardship, He will bless and prosper us. When we think about prosperity our focus needs to be on having God’s view of prosperity and its purpose. Prosperity can come in many other ways than just material blessings, and God wants us to use our prosperity to honor Him – not just make ourselves more comfortable. When God prospers us, it’s so we can further glorify Him as we give more and more to those in need.


Giving is the purpose of God’s Provident Plan. All other aspects of His Provident Plan are a means to this end. Through our contentment in Christ, we spend less so we have more to give. Our hard work provides more income so we will have more to give. Through good stewardship we avoid wasting what God has given us so we will have more to give. Our prosperity comes from God not so we can make ourselves richer but so we can give even more. God’s Provident Plan is completely focused on others – on how we can glorify God by laying down our lives and our wants for the needs of others. We live simply so others can simply live.

At the same time, we’ll realize that God’s Provident Plan gives much to us as well. Peace beyond understanding, joy beyond description, and happiness beyond compare are all ours as we trust ourselves to God’s care. When we first begin following God’s Provident Plan, we hardly realize the potential benefits it will have for our own lives because we were still mired in the views of the world. But as we follow Jesus and see that He is trustworthy and faithful, we become aware of the indestructible treasures in heaven that He has taught us to accumulate.

When we fully grasp God’s Provident Plan, we’ll see that giving in the New Covenant has nothing to do with tithing or percentages. It’s not about requirements, rules, obligations, or blessings or curses. Our giving is to be completely motivated by love – joyous and cheerful as we realize that our sacrifice is not loss but gain in Christ. We give freely, generously, and sacrificially not out of compulsion but out of our joy and contentment in Christ. Such giving is a sign of our total commitment to Christ and His teaching, and it’s a very powerful witness to the world.

Following God’s Provident Plan

Following God’s Provident Plan for our personal finances has huge implications for our lives. It goes against every motive the world gives us for why we should manage our finances well. Instead of focusing on what’s in it for us, we look at what’s in it for God and others. But we know that the rewards God has for us far outweigh the deceitful and false promises of worldly riches. If you feel God calling you to follow His Provident Plan for your finances, please browse around the website and sign up for free updates through email or your favorite feed reader!