I write about money a lot on this site. We talk about getting rid of debt, saving an emergency fund, funding your retirement and a whole host of other money related issues. We focus a lot on how to be a good steward of your money so that in the long run you'll have more available to give and spend when (and if) you retire.
One thing that I've talked about multiple times, that often gets lost in the shuffle, is the importance of not allowing money to take over your life. Money can have positive or negative effects on your life, it really just depends on how you view money, and how you end up using it.
In our society we are constantly bombarded with consumerist messages on TV, the internet and just about every other forum you can imagine. We're constantly told how our lives would be better if we had this car, or that house, or if we had a million dollars in the bank. We're told to look out for number one, and how the individual reigns supreme.
The problem is, when we focus on fulfilling our own desires from a selfish perspective, it's always going to leave us wanting more, and feeling like we haven't been fulfilled.
Harnessing The Power Of Generosity
Instead of engaging in the endless pursuit of vain and meaningless wealth and things, in order to live a full life promised to us – we should be focusing on living a generous lifestyle.
In his book The Secret of Generosity, author Rob Kuban talks about the how we can avoid the ill fated pursuit of money for selfish purposes by focusing on being generous.
How do we harness money's capability for good while avoiding its ills? Live generously. Paul outlined this clearly: “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God…Instruct them to do good…to be generous and ready to share…so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
A lifestyle that is steeped in generosity (financially and beyond) liberates us to live as God intended. In effect, generosity is a two-edged sword—possessing the power to fight off many evils as well as free us to “take hold of that which is life indeed.”
We are told to fix our gaze on God instead of money, and that to truly “take hold of that which is life indeed”, we should be generous and ready to share.
Generosity: Defense Against Selfishness, Stinginess, Trusting Too Much In Money
Being generous is also a great defensive mechanism, to guard us against many of the evils associated with money.
Biblical generosity, for lack of a better way to word it, is often a defensive mechanism. By simply living generously, we are freed (at least in part) from so many of the Bible's warnings against the love of money, selfishness, stinginess, and the deceitfulness of riches.
The Bible gives us warnings about the evils of trusting too much in money, loving money or things, and of becoming a selfish and stingy person. Being generous helps us to overcome those tendencies that we have.
Generous living fights off many evils in the life of a Christian. If only we will begin to take the call to give seriously, so many of the dangers of money—some of which can be spiritually fatal—become almost powerless. As if this wasn't incentive enough, the word continues to stir us on with its rich promises.
Kuban goes on to talk about how living a generous lifestyle draws us closer to Christ, and helps us to live out a deeper connection with God the father by doing His work in the world. It frees us to live by faith and trust in his provision, to be confident in giving more, helps us to be content with what we have and helps us to live out our eternal purpose. Kuban concludes:
When we live generously: We are freed from the chains of greed, loosened from the grips of fear, saved from the dangers of materialism, turned from covetousness to find fulfilling contentment, removed from competing in a game we can't win, liberated from the pressures of an appearance based society, and empowered to worship the one, true God. We are freed to live by faith trusting in God above ourselves, to become increasingly invested in the kingdom, to leverage our contentment in Christ to bless others, to amass treasure in heaven, and to leave a legacy that will never end. Need I say more of the freedom found in generosity!
So live generously, and live free!
Book Giveaway: The Secret of Generosity
The book I've quoted above is a great one, and one I highly suggest reading. The author, Rob Kuban, actually has his own Christian personal finance blog over at DollarsAndDoctrine.com. This month Rob contacted several other Christian personal finance blogs and is graciously offering to give away his book to anyone who simply sends him an email and requests it. How's that for practicing what you preach and living in the spirit of generosity?
Here are the details on how to get your free copy of The Secret of Generosity:
Hey everyone, Celebrating the one year anniversary of the release of “The Secret of Generosity”, the launching of ebooks via my website, and a little Christmas spirit, I am doing an ebook giveaway promo. It is simple…For the month of December, anyone who emails me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and puts “Free Ebook Giveaway” and the name of the site they saw the deal on (Bible Money Matters), will get the ebook (PDF) emailed to them for FREE.Thanks and Merry Christmas, Rob
So there you have it. To get your free ebook, just email Rob at the address above following his instructions, and you'll get your own free copy of his book The Secret of Generosity.
Here's a synopsis of the book that Rob sent over:
Ever felt like your pocket has a hole in it? Big expectations followed only by disappointment? If so, you are not alone. Knowing that His people felt this way, the Lord spoke into our emptiness. In the only direction we aren't looking, He pointed the way towards redemption and restoration. Generosity has a secret, a deep, liberating, and life-altering secret. Discovering it will bring life to our souls and hope to our hearts.
In this book, we will learn: The importance of generosity to our lives, not just our finances, the inseparability of generosity and Christianity, the freedom and joy found in living generously, the most important thing the Bible tells us to do with our money…the secret of generosity.
Having already read the book I can tell you that it really introduces some powerful ideas surrounding generosity that can truly change your life! I highly recommend getting a free copy while you can!
Here are some other resources including articles by Rob Kuban on this site, as well as reviews of his previous books.