One Percent More 

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 
—2 CORINTHIANS 9:7

A recent conversation with a friend reminded me of the joy we find in giving. "When my wife and I were married," he said, "we decided to give 10 percent of our income to the Lord's work. By the end of our first year of marriage, I had started a little business and God had  blessed us. I said to my wife, ‘As believers in Christ who have received so much from him, I feel like we should do more. Would you be willing for us to give 11 percent of our income next year?' My wife agreed.

"At the end of that year, God had blessed our business, and I asked my wife if she would be willing to give 12 percent the following year. Again she agreed. After that, every year we added 1 percent more of our total income to our giving, and every year, at the end of the year, we had more left over than we did the year before."

"How long have you been married?" I asked.

He smiled and said, "Forty-nine years." It didn't take me long to calculate that this couple was now giving 59 percent of their income to the causes of Christ. As I think of my friend's smile, I am reminded that joyful, generous giving is one of the ways we express our love to God.

Action Step 

Revisit your giving plan and consider whether God would have you increase the amount by 1 percent of your total income.  

Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.