This past Sunday, as part of our pastor's message on How to Handle Wealth and Suffering, he reminded us to develop a plan to generosity. For many years, I viewed giving to churches and organizations something I would do once I had taken care of myself. Of course, I never seemed to have enough for me.
Shortly after our engagement, She and I began to join our financial lives. While we kept our accounts separate, I took a much greater interest in how She was managing her money. As we discussed financial priorities, we both agreed that giving should be a part of our budget. We knew it was a lofty goal, but felt compelled to attempt a full tithe of 10%.
As we approach our first anniversary, I am happy to report that we have faithfully given our 10% from every paycheck.
Through this lifestyle change, I've learned that you can't give if you're living beyond your means. Not only does our plan for generosity provide us with warm and fuzzies, it forces us to live within our means and keep to our planned budget.
I encourage everyone to develop a plan for generosity, whether it includes a church, non-profit organization, or cause you believe in. Our plan is to give 10%, pay ourselves 20%, and live off the remaining 70%. And almost one year into this marriage, we're still at it.