Giving and being generous with money is something that Nancy and I really wanted to do, starting several years ago.  Giving to various causes is probably something near to your heart as well.

For a short time, we believed a small, seemingly harmless lie that was really based in good intentions.  What was that lie?  It went something like this:

“When we pay off our home, we’re really going to be big givers then!”

God didn’t let us sit around with that understanding very long, because he called us shortly after that idea arose in our heads to give a large gift away, while we were trying to pay off our house!

This lie, or misconception comes in a bunch of forms:

“When I get out of debt…”
“When I finally get that promotion…”
“When I win the lottery…” (seriously, people?)
“When I ____________…”

It can also come in the form of an excuse, a little more dangerous form that gives you psychological cover from the fact you know you should be giving now.  It sounds something like this:

“Well of course they can give like that; their house is paid off.”
“Of course they can give big; do you know how much they make in a year?”

What finally destroyed this notion for me was this understanding:  Having more money doesn’t change who you are or how you handle it.  More money magnifies who you are and how you handle it.

If you’re a giver now, you’ll be a big giver when you have more money.  If you are stingy now, you’re gonna be a miser when you have more money.

I love the story that billionaire John D. Rockefeller told when asked about giving:

I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother.  My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week.  The first week after I went to work, I took the $1.50 home to my mother, and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord.  I did, and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me.  And I want to say if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made.

That quote is a powerful testimony to the fact that who you choose to be now will determine who you are when you are succeeding.  Maybe you’re not where you want to be yet, but the choices you make now will determine who you are when you have reached where you want to be.

Don’t fall for the lie that when you find success, then you’ll be a bigger giver/more generous/a better person/etc.

Start now.  Give now.