Monday, October 29, 2012

The Give Envelope

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog entitled Be Open Enough For A Blessing.  It was an experience where God allowed me to be a help to someone who was in need.  I talked in that blog about my give envelope, and how it might be the subject of another blog.  Well, here is the info on my give envelope.

Several years ago, Carl and I got on the Dave Ramsey bandwagon.  The Dave Ramsey plan goes something like this.

Make a zero balanced budget.
Pay off debt.
Pay cash.
No debt except the house and even try to pay that off early.
Retirement.
College.

A quote of Dave Ramsey's is, "If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else".  Most of you have heard of Dave Ramsey and his philosophy.  We love his financial wisdom and have followed his plan.  The only thing that did not sit really well with me was the giving part. 

Now, Ramsey does discuss tithing.  Tithing is 10% of your income which I believe to be off your gross income and believe is instructed by God (Lev 27:30).  There is even a couple in the bible who were killed by God for lying and trying to withhold some of their tithe (Acts 5:1-10).  OK, I got that part, but I am talking about giving over and above the tithe. 

What about giving to the Gideons when they come to our church?  What about the Salvation Army bell ringer outside Wal Mart at Christmas time?  What about the family who can't send their daughter on a mission trip?  What about supporting friends who are doing exciting things for people in Christ's name?  What about my new Costco friend (who I have now seen several times at Costco since) who needed gas for her car?

In the beginning, I felt we had to say no to these kinds of things, because we had made a zero balanced budget.  There was no extra room for giving.  Was I really going to spend the next 15 to 20 years trying to pay off the house, put money away for retirement, save for college, and get our own financial house in order and never give to anyone in need?  That plan did not sit well with me.

The Give Envelope
Carl and I decided to set aside a certain amount of money every month in our give envelope.  It is an envelope where if someone has a need, it is there.  If there is a devestating hurricane in the US, we might give our money for that.  If there is someone who needs money for a mission trip, we might give money for that.  The give envelope gives us options to help if we can.  It is not a lot of money, but God can use little things in a big way.

"For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has,
not according to what he does not have."  2 Corinthians 8:12

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