The Daily ReTORt

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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Importance of Giving – Part I

I’m a volunteer member on the board of our local church, Potomac Valley Assembly – here’s the link (

Since I’ve got my MBA degree and understand a bit about finances, the board selected me as its treasurer. It’s an honor to serve in that role and there are some insights that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me and may help you regarding finances and giving.

There are three basic aspects of wealth or money that are important, yet often overlooked.

1. How you earned it – was it obtained legally and ethically? While this may seem inconsequential it’s actually quite a significant point because it drives the next aspect of your finances listed below.

2. Money’s priority in your life – do you see money as a tool for you to use or does it use you?  Keep in mind that "money" itself is not the problem, but having an "all-consuming-increase-at-all-costs” mindset is a problem. Here’s an oft-misquoted passage regarding money, 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with much grief.”  Having money is not bad - but loving it is.

3. What you do with your earnings – the obvious activities regarding the use of our finances are paying bills (e.g. food, shelter…etc.) and saving for the future. The money that’s left over is your disposable income that you can spend anyway you want. We need to be more thoughtful regarding our use of those dollars.

I propose that the most important thing you can do with your disposable income is to give a portion of it to a worthwhile charity or your local place of worship. I wholeheartedly believe that when you give, not only do you and others benefit immediately but there is an unseen, eternal benefit as well.

Here's the key to unlock those benefits.

Our biggest problem with giving is that we tend to see it the wrong way – we don’t understand it. When we donate money to a worthy cause or church, we tend to view it as a TRANSACTIONAL event – like buying a mocha latte at Starbucks or filling your tank with gas.

However, to God – our giving is a TRANSFORMING event. The fact is that the more you give to help others, the greater the change (transformation) for the better that occurs in you. The act of giving sensitizes you to the dire needs of others beyond yourself. Because no matter how bad you think you've got it - there is someone near you, who's much worse off than you are. Also, this type of giving needs to be a year-round habit, not just isolated around the holidays. Whether you think you can or can't give, it's worth considering.

The idea of giving is a core value in our family and we’re instilling that principle in our two daughters. Part 2 of this series offers a real example of the type of transformation I've alluded to above.


  1. Tor I couldn't agree with you more!!!!! Since the demise of Elijah House we have been tithing and in return God has been more than faithful. It has taken us 23 years to realize the importance of tithing and not as an after thought when all the bills are paid or food gotten but it is the first thing we do now take it right off the top. We have given to charities for years and others in need but this is different....tithing is separate and now comes first.

  2. Well put. Definitely a topic worth covering! Our tithing efforts have opened up discussions about our world and our faith that give our children a better perspective on how truly blessed we are. We encourage tithing of both time and money in our we have found the time commitment can sometimes be the most transformative.

  3. @Lisa, thanks for the personal perspective and example.

  4. @Brenda, I completely agree that we need to donate our time, talents and "tithe or 10%" as a minimum. You guys are a great example!

  5. Bruce, thanks for taking the time to read it!