Focal Passages: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15; 9:1-5
In our last lesson we considered the importance of Kingdom giving. In this lesson we will develop a plan that will put us on course to make Kingdom giving a priority.
There are numerous ways to develop a plan for Kingdom giving; however, I would like to offer my personal approach to handling God’s money. First, I take the sum total of my salary for the month, before taxes. From that amount I set aside 10 percent of the total to be given to my local church. I know we are no longer under the Old Testament law as it relates to tithing, but the 10 percent gives me a practical starting point for allocating funds to Kingdom giving. It is important to understand that God is more interested in your attitude about giving than He is your percentage of giving. The minute your giving becomes legalistic or even ritual it is time for a reevaluation of your heart.
After I set my tithe amount, I make sure I can pay my taxes. Once my taxes are funded I allocate the rest of my income into different spending categories (food, housing, auto, etc.).
Basically, it is the old envelope system, but I use an online version called Mvelopes.
Once everything is budgeted out I strive to underspend my budget category. If I have surplus at the end of the month I can use it for helping others in need as the Apostle Paul directed in 2 Corinthians 8:14. He writes, “your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need.”
There are many times unexpected expenditures occur that bust my budget. When that occurs I don’t give up on the process.
I continue to follow the steps of good biblical stewardship, and God always seems to provide. In fact, I am amazed at how generous God is to me on a daily basis. It is like the old farmer said, “I keep shoveling into God’s bin, and God keeps shoveling back into mine, and God has the bigger shovel.”