‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:8
It All Belongs To God
This verse brings home to me the fact that no matter how much money I get, or how many things I collect, that it all belongs to God. It isn't mine, its His. Because of that I need to try and remember what God's priorities for His money are, and what mine should be.
We just started doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University this past week, and one of the first things we had to do was create a “quickie budget”. We needed to look at what our expenses were, what our income was, and then create a budget of what we were going to spend.
When your giving isn't as much as you thought it was
In looking at our spending for the past year I realized that we had been woefully inadequate in the areas of giving. It felt like we had given quite a bit, but when we looked deeper at it, we had given in spurts – and the grand total wasn't all that grand.
We should be giving with a joyful heart, giving first before we spend on our bills, our saving and our discretionary spending. No matter how things are going, we need to be giving back, using God's money for his purposes.
Dave Ramsey talks about this in his seminar. He says that before you even look at your bills and other expenses, you need to first set aside your giving (in the form of tithes, charity, etc) and your saving. This shouldn't even be factored into your budget, its coming out before you even get started.
We'll be consciously working on this, and trying our best to be giving our tithe to our church and other local charities before we even look at the rest of our bills. I think we're considering actually doing an automatic funds transfer for our tithe so that it takes out the human “I forgot the check this week” factor. I don't like doing automatic deductions normally, but in this case I think we may need to take the leap of faith, and make sure to give first – in thanks for what we've been given.
What are your thoughts on giving back first?