Wealth

Learn how to measure your life. There are things far more important than money. Learn to be grateful now.

Cheerful Tithing

I am going to take some time, right now, to discuss a very controversial topic.  It has become controversial, but it really shouldn’t be.  I am going to discuss tithing, or the practice of taking ten percent of everything you make and giving it away, first, before you do anything else with your money.  I am not talking about generosity in general; I am talking about tithing in particular.  Tithing is not “generosity.”  Tithing is required.  There is an entire principle based on generosity.  For now, let’s discuss taking the first ten percent of everything you make and giving it away.  I can see those of you who know about tithing with your eyes glazing over, but stick with me now.  Those of you who haven’t heard about tithing are going to get a very important lesson.  It will have a direct impact on your future financial prosperity. 

Being Generous Without Spending a Lot Of Money 

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A discussion of generosity always comes back to spending money and material things.  So, I am going to discuss those things now.  It is important to note, however, that there are infinitely many ways to be generous and spread good.  We will discuss these in a minute.  “For the love of money is the root of all evil which: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”lxxii   It is what you do with money that determines how God views it. A hundred dollars that is used to feed a poor family has a different value than a hundred dollars used to feed a drug habit. Money simply makes you more of what you already were before you had the money. If, before you had an abundance of money, you were generous, then an abundance of money will make you generous in abundance. If you were greedy, before having an abundance of money, then an abundance of money will make you greedier. Money shows where your heart really is. If you want to find out what type of person you are, then take a look at where you spend your money. 

Moderate Work 

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We have discussed honest work, smart work and fulfilling work.  The last component of effective work is moderation. Work is a necessary part of life.  It helps to give us direction and purpose.  Just think back to a day when you had a good day at work.  It’s satisfying.  Work is good!  It’s even better when you are doing the things suggested here.  So let’s be clear about work.  It’s overworking that is the problem.  Even God rested after doing the work of creating the world and we are given instructions to not overwork.cxiv 

Smart Work 

Next, I would like to discuss smart work.  The most important thing to remember, about what we call smart work, is to

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have a plan.  I have found far too many people who do not make a plan for the work that they do to compliment the rest of their lives.   They spend their days working, but they never get anywhere. 

You Will Harvest What You Plant 

This rule of generosity is quite simple, yet many times it seems to be overlooked by most people.  “Do not be

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deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…”lxiv 

Many people don’t believe that the law of sowing and reaping works.  There are those who will mock this truth.  We live in a period where people are so interested in themselves that they refuse to look at the evidence.   

Change Your Motivation

It has been said, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.”ii  I think this truth has been lost in the world today.  People run around trying to accumulate things.  They work long hours in an effort to get more stuff.  They sacrifice time spent with family and friends to feel successful.  What is the fruit of all this materialism?  Everywhere marriages are falling apart; children who never get the benefit of a relationship with their parents, and emptiness and despair as people reach for more of everything. 

The Two Seas In Israel 

It is obvious that those who give more, naturally receive more, but why? 

I like to use an example comparing the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea to illustrate why this is so.  Imagine, for a

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moment, that the Dead Sea represents both takers and keepers.  Imagine also, that the Sea of Galilee represents givers. 

If you were to observe the Dead Sea, you would notice that the scenery is ugly.  The atmosphere is harsh and the shores are barren.  The water is not able to sustain life and cannot quench thirst. 

Common Money Mistakes

I have found that most people make the following mistakes when it comes to building wealth or accepting money

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into their lives: 

They never make having abundance a necessity: If you want something bad enough, you will get it.  Unfortunately, for many of us, we have decided on a comfort level in our lives when it comes to money.  We saw how much our parents made, we see how much our friends make and we get comfortable in that range.

Three Types of People

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I have identified three types of people.  Most people fall into one of the following categories concerning their generosity: 

  1. Takers 
  2. Keepers 
  3. Givers 

I have also seen the effects of these particular lifestyles on the results people get in all areas of life.  “The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God – harvests a crop of weeds.  All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!  But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”xl