Archives: Giving

You Can’t Take It With You

I read a story on Bill Gate’s management style several years ago. Apparently his employees measured how good their product or performance reviews went based on how many times he said the F-Bomb.

Anything under 20 was a good review.

Studying Bill Gates early days a Microsoft informs you that he was very driven, rarely satisfied, and highly demanding. You might say that he still is.

These days Bill’s driven by a different dream: to give generously and make a difference in this world.

Along with his wife, Gloria, they established the Bill Gates Foundation in the late 90s, an organization dedicated to giving away billions of dollars to make a difference globally.

In a recent interview, the Gates shared a lot about their endeavors to give away their money and make a difference.

Here’s a few things I noticed….

#1 – They’re not going to leave their kids a lot of money. 

Based on studies that show giving kids a rich inheritance is quite unhealthy for them, the Gates have made the decision to give their children “the freedom to do whatever they feel led to do, but with the knowledge that their work is necessary for society and themselves.”

#2 – They’ve committed to give away 95% of their wealth before they die. 

This is staggering, considering that Bill Gates is worth 76 billion dollars. That’s an awful lot of money to be given away, and a huge opportunity to do good.

You might think… “Hey, I’d give that much money away if I was that rich.” That’s not always true. Even those with limited incomes can be extremely generous.

Generosity only exists when it’s a priority.

#3 – Giving has changed their lives. 

Bill Gates says in this interview: “Giving away our wealth is the most satisfying thing we’ve ever done.” That’s coming from a man who invented the personal computer, pioneered the software development that made computers central to business, and is one of the richest men in the world.

God’s plan is that we give sacrificially, generously, and joyfully.

God doesn’t want that from you. He wants it FOR YOU, because it will change your life!

Here’s the video of the interview with the Gates: 

Givers and Takers: What's Inside Matters

Givers and Takers: What's Inside Matters


Our church is in the middle of a series of talks I’ve entitled “No More Tombs”. We’re basically reflecting on the resurrection of Jesus to recognize that when Jesus walked out of the tomb, He invited us to walk of the tomb with Him.
We still live in tombs, though.
We let our relationships, our time, our past, and our finances become tombs. Even though Jesus invites us to life, we too often choose death.
One of the subtlest, but most significant, tombs that we choose to live in is in the area of personal finances. God has a plan to bring life to our finances, but we create our own plan and our own plan will always lead to death (Romans 6:23) .
God’s plan is quite simple: that we be givers, not takers.
I thought I’d take a few days and share some of the important differences between givers and takers, because it’s so important that we understand God’s heart in this.
God wants something for you, not from you. And so do I.

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The first significant difference between a giver and a taker is what’s happening on the inside.
Everything we do happens before we do it (Luke 6:45, Matthew 12:34, and James 1:15).
We choose, we believe, then we act… it’s really that simple.
You’ll often hear me say this: you do what you believe. We don’t have a behavior problem, we most often have a belief problem.
You can spend a lot of time analyzing the behavior, but if you don’t spend time understanding it’s motivation all you’re doing is treating a symptom without treating the disease.
So… Where does a giver start? Where does a taker start?
A taker starts with one simple decision: I’m first.
I’m first, so my needs come before anyone else. I’m first, so I deserve that before anyone else. I’m first, so I should have that position before anyone.
I’m first.
Takers are sinfully self-centered. Their needs matter more than anyone else. Their progress is more important than anyone else. Their happiness is more important than anyone else. They are the center of their own universe.
Givers understand on simple truth: we make a bad center.
Whatever is at the center of your life is functionally your god, and let’s just be honest… we make a poor god. Sure, you might be happy (for a while), but nobody else is if you’re your own center. As a matter of fact, they’ll start to resent you, even hate you, if you try to make yourself their center.
Givers start with this simple decision: I cannot be first.
If others are first, you’ll give… naturally. You’ll give because you care about their needs. You’ll give because you want them to be happy. You’ll give because you simply recognize them as being valuable.
That’s simply not enough, though. If others are you center, you’ll live to please them and you’ll live empty because you cannot please them. You’ll never be able to give enough to satisfy the needs of others.
So… where should a giver start?
A giver should start with the recognition that Jesus is first.
When place Jesus at the center of everything in our lives, He takes the lead in our finances just like everything else.
With Jesus as our center we give out of obedience. We don’t assume ownership over the time, talent, and treasure that God has so richly blessed us with. We recognize that Jesus is the owner, and he has invited us to be stewards of His blessings in our life. We don’t follow our own plan, but in turn, follow His.
A giver gladly, joyfully gives because their greatest delight is found in following Jesus.
It all starts on the inside.
So… what’s happening inside you?
What’s leading you to be a giver or a taker?
And… most importantly, what needs to change if you’re going to follow God’s plan to be a giver?

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