Don’t feel guilty. Not everyone is naturally a cheerful giver.
People may jump to conclusions about why some people give with ease and others hesitate. But it has to do with the way God made each and every one of us.
You are born with a natural approach to money. We all are. God hard-wires it right in from the start. And that approach greatly affects your ability to be a cheerful giver.
The great news is anyone can learn to be a cheerful giver.
Let’s take a peek at two friends from a small group to see giving in action.
Dave and Karla are friends and members of the same small group through church. They both grew up in Christian homes with fairly similar values, both enjoy serving at church, and both agree that giving is a part of their relationship with God. But the similarities end there.
Karla loves to give. Her earliest memories go way back to Sunday school. She remembers it like it was yesterday: the songs with tricky hand motions, making a paste out of graham crackers and water during snack time, and carrying her tiny envelope jingling with coins to help far away kids who didn’t have enough.
Karla loves to give and give often.
Dave loved Sunday school, too, but he feels a bit differently about giving. Dave is very active at his local church. He loves serving there, especially now that he’s found a place on the Westside Service Team. Dave is handy and happy to give of his time whenever the church, or anyone else for that matter, needs him.
Dave not only takes good care of the things and people around him, he takes good care of his finances. He handles lots of details, keeps his saving and giving on course, and likes to feel secure about his future.
That means Dave likes to work toward a secure financial future and isn’t wild about spending money. So at small group when Karla brought up her desire to have the group sponsor another missionary family, Dave was baffled.
He thought, Hold up, Karla. We already sponsor a family and lead the Angel Tree project each Christmas! We can’t just decide to support everybody else.
Now it was Karla’s turn to be baffled at her friend’s response. She wondered how such a kind, helpful man was not more compelled to help the less fortunate.
Karla and Dave, like most individuals, do not fully understand their unique viewpoints on money. They both love to help others. It just looks different for each of them.
Karla did not realize it at this point, but it turns out she is a Flyer/Spender. So money, and the details involved, is not especially important to her. And as a Secondary Spender, it does not bother her to part with it. She believes deep down relationships are paramount, and the money will work itself out somehow. A cheerful giver indeed!
But Dave cheerfully gives, too. His Security Seeker tendency isn’t stingy. He just needs to make sure his God-given savings are adequate, especially considering his desire to do mission work at some point down the road. Karla, on the other hand, needs to know her money serves others and furthers relationships.
Is Dave not a cheerful giver? Is Karla too cheerful?
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7 he reminds the church at Corinth, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
“Give what you have decided in your heart.” Sounds very personal. Your unique design is very personal, and your approach to money is personal, too.
Every single person with any combination of Money Personalities can learn to be a cheerful giver. Here are a few tips to help crank up the cheerful.
Saver – Recognize your difficult time parting with your dollars and cents. It is OK. God doesn’t make mistakes. You are designed that way for a purpose.
Understand Savers rarely feel like they have saved “enough.” The Bible calls us to be generous “and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). Show thanks through your giving.
Being a cheerful giver is easier if you identify to whom and how much you will give ahead of time so you don’t feel “reluctant or under compulsion” to give.
Security Seeker – Understand your propensity to be future-focused. Security seekers will be apprehensive to give if it hurts your long-term plans. Allow others around you to help expand your scope of the future. Feel good about your desire to plan ahead. God designed you this way.
Gather your facts. The more you know about an organization, philanthropy or missionary family the more you may feel cheerful about your giving — and the future for both you and that family.
Spender – Spenders are natural-born givers. God designed you with open hands, ready to give to others. Tap into that God-given mindset.
Be aware that not every opportunity to give may be intended for you. Prayerfully consider where God would have you give. Be hesitant to judge others who do not part with their money as easily. Be aware of money given to make you feel better or make you look good.
Enjoy giving cheerfully.
Risk Taker – Risk Takers are adventurous and love change. Risk Takers are cheerful givers for new ministries and philanthropies. They are ready to take a risk to solve many of society’s ills — big or small.
It is helpful for Risk Takers to make sure they are supporting their church foundationally, before they go looking for other “new and exciting” charities.
Flyer – Flyers are all about relationships. Money is not the first thing that comes to mind and is often easily forgotten. Flyers may commit to multiple — good — causes and not realize the monetary consequences until later.
Flyers may experience cheerful giving best to organizations where family and friends are involved or may enjoy an organization that allows their donations to go to a particular individual in need.
Do not feel guilty about your feelings about giving. Giving does not come naturally to every personality. Regardless of your personal approach to money, you can be a cheerful giver!
Dave and Karla are both cheerful givers. Sure they view money and giving very differently, but look how Karla finds opportunities for the group to bless others that Dave would never see, while Dave invests in the church, other vetted ministries, and his dreams as a future missionary.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
You can be a cheerful giver.
To learn more about your Money Personalities, take the free, scientific quiz at TheMoneyCouple.com.
Copyright 2013 Scott and Bethany Palmer. All rights reserved.