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Intersection of Life and Faith

Save and Give to Empower Others

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2002 12 Mar
Save and Give to Empower Others
So many needs surround us daily that it's easy to become overwhelmed. People around the world go hungry and can't obtain the education, medical care and housing they need. Children, elderly people and animals are treated cruelly. Those dealing with emotional pain are caught in dangerous cycles of addiction and crime. The environment God created is destroyed by those who misuse our planet's natural resources. And that's just the beginning of the endless stream of problems in our fallen world.

You may think there's nothing you can do about it. But, in fact, you have more power than you think to make a positive difference in the world. If you're disciplined in how you manage your money, you can use it as an effective tool to help others in truly significant ways.

Here are some simple financial steps you can take that will help you empower others, creating partnerships that will meet needs:

  • Whenever you receive any income, divide it three ways. Designate 10 percent to save, 10 percent to give away, and the remaining 80 percent for your current expenses. You may want to open three separate bank accounts to help you build the discipline you need for the practice. Write checks to your savings and donations accounts from your general account each time your general account receives a new deposit. At first, this task might seem daunting, but remember that God will help you and always provide what you need. Think and pray about how you can reduce your spending so that your budget reflects an ability to live on just 80 percent of your income.

  • Make the power of interest work for you, not against you. Eliminate your debt and invest your savings into diversified mutual funds. Set a goal to one day live primarily on the interest from your savings without having to touch the principle. The more financial independence you have, the more you can donate to others and the more you can choose how to spend your time, such as by doing meaningful volunteer work.

  • Ask God to show you what unique contributions He wants you to make to others. Consider what interests and talents you have. Pray for God to reveal which people or organizations to support with your financial donations, time and energy.

  • Form partnerships with others as much as you can. Know that often, people are already working toward solutions on problems that concern you, no matter what the cause (such as literacy or care for seniors). The necessary infrastructure to work on your areas of interest most likely already exists in the form of ministries, schools, government agencies, etc. So rather than necessarily building a new organization, consider joining an existing one to increase the effectiveness of its work.

  • Be alert to unexpected opportunities God brings you to bless others in need. Let His Spirit guide you as you decide how best to help others. Strive to bring love and a sense of cooperation to all your interactions with people.

  • If you’re not currently doing work you love to do, search for a new job that’s better suited for you. Know that God wants your work to be meaningful, not just a way to earn a paycheck. No matter what your current situation, resolve to do at least task every day that is aligned with your dreams for contributing to the world in your unique ways.

Adapted from The Ten Percent Solution: Simple Steps to Improve Our Lives & Our World, copyright 2002 by Marc Allen. Published by New World Library, Novato, Ca., www.newworldlibrary.com, 1-800-972-6657.

Marc Allen is co-founder and publisher of New World Library. He has written several books and produced several musical albums.

How have your practices of either saving or giving helped you make a positive contribution to the world? What causes has God led you to support, and why? How have you tried to form partnerships with others to make a greater contribution than you could necessarily make alone? Visit Crosswalk’s forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.

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