You have heard that quote thousands of times, and if you’re like me, that scares you a bit. Money influences lots of decisions we make, and those with money can have power over us. In the same way, we have a lot of power with the money that we have – like it or not, we’re quite wealthy by world standards.So when we think of what we spend our money on, do we see choices to help the impoverished in our spending habits? Do we see us using our money to create freedom or oppression? Do we see self-love or compassion for others?The average American spends around $4,516 a year on entertainment alone. But what we don’t realize is how much we rely on entertainment to help us feel fulfilled and successful in life.

What if instead of using our money on ourselves we spent it on generously giving to others. With 4,516 dollars you could…

Support 7,500 children with critical antibiotics through MAP International
Support 140 children with health care, food and education through Nazarene Compassion Ministries
Provide 800 cows for families around the world to start small businesses through Food for the Hungry
Help 130 girls who have been exploited through the sex-slave industry through World Vision
Taking away the things you don’t NEED, opens the door for you to help provide for the NEEDS of OTHERS.

We were not called to consume, we were called to give and to give sacrificially out of our love for others.

So, here are some ways you can choose financial generosity this week:

  • Forgo your fancy coffee drinks for the week – place the money you would have spent in a jar to donate
  • Buy a gift card to a local store/restaurant in your city – the next time someone asks you for money give them the gift card.
  • Shop at a thrift store for what you need first. Put the difference based upon what you would have spent in a jar to donate.
  • Give up cable television, Netflix, and/or Hulu Plus. In doing this you’re not only cutting back significantly on wasted time, but you can also set aside the money to donate!
  • Ask your pastor if there is anyone struggling financially in the church. Anonymously donate money to the person/family or pay one of their bills through the church to help him/her/them get through the tough time.
  • Do you really need another pair of shoes? Or another purse? Or another t-shirt? Or a new video game? You guessed it, donate the money instead!

If you want to get really crazy, incorporate several of these ideas this week. Either get a physical donation jar you can put cash into or create a separate savings account to transfer money into specifically for the purpose of donating it at the end of the year. Do whatever will help you practically set aside money.It’s easy for us to become attached to the money we’ve worked so hard for, but it was never ours to begin with. All that we have is a gift from God and a blessing. To share that blessing with those who need it is one of the most rewarding callings the Bible gives us.

It doesn’t always take a life-changing event or huge moment to change your perspective. You make financial decisions every day, and it’s when we incorporate little changes into those everyday decisions that we can truly make an impact.

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