We are in our final week of Financial Peace University! Congratulations on making it this far! This week we’re talking about the purpose and heart of this entire series: radical and intentional giving. You can do everything in these lessons, but until you embrace giving, you will not experience financial peace. Giving doesn’t just change the person or cause we give to, it changes us! Giving is a spiritual act of worship; it reminds us that our money isn’t actually ours and prevents our hands from clinging to the wrong things.
Dave explains the difference between a tithe and an offering. A tithe is a tenth of your income and it is the first thing to budget each month. Tithes are intended to go to your local church, who should be taking care of those in need in your congregation and community. Offerings, however, are given from a surplus. You may be thinking, “I don’t have a surplus of money, that’s why I’m taking Financial Peace University!” While that may be true, I would challenge you (and myself) to look for the extras in our life that we can actually live without. Even small sacrifices can make a big impact on others. Maybe you give up that latte or dinner out and instead treat the next person who asks you for money. Forgo buying that pair of shoes and contribute that money to building a well in an area that lacks safe drinking water. How beautiful would it be if the church, Christians, were able to out-give the government?
Wherever you are in your financial journey, press on! There will be weeks that are more challenging than others, but continue to utilize these principles. God desires for us to experience freedom in every way, including financial freedom.
Action Items For This Week:
Pray about giving. Prayerfully consider what the Bible teaches about giving as presented in this lesson. Using your budget, determine how giving biblically would impact your financial life. Adjust your budget to accommodate any changes you need to make.
Discuss the word “blessing.” Read Malachi 3:10-12 and talk with your accountability partner or spouse about what the word “blessing” might mean in light of this lesson. Review your budget to determine what changes you could or should make as a result.
Keep going! Do a zero-based budget every month for the rest of your life! You can also stay current by checking out new information and updates online, and you can take this class again as many times as your want at no extra cost.
- Dave stresses the importance of giving no matter what Baby Step you’re on. Why does Dave encourage someone to give off the top of their budget, even if they have debt?
- Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” What would happen in the world if everyone started looking at their money and possessions as belonging to God, not themselves? How could that impact the church?
- Dave says that giving is some of the most fun you can ever have with money. Has anyone ever surprised you with a meaningful act of giving? Have you ever experienced the joy of giving in a big way?
- Look back over the past nine weeks and think about what you’ve learned and how your life has changed as a result of participating in FPU. Tell the group how your life is different now compared to where you started. What are some ways you could “pay it forward” to someone else?