Flipping the Numbers
I want to do a quick thought experiment with you today.
First, think about how much you put away in savings and investments every month. You can think of it as a dollar amount or a percentage of your income. Write it down.
Next, think about how much you give away every month. How much do you tithe, donate to charities, or give to individuals who need help? Once you figure that out, write it down.
Now, imagine that, starting tomorrow, you had to switch those numbers for a month. Would you be alright with that?
What if they had to switch for six months? A year?
You might be concerned about losses to your future retirement.
Or you might be nervous at the thought of giving so much away.
Then again, you might enjoy the thought of your investments benefiting from a short-term switch.
Or you might not.
The size of each one of these numbers does a good job of indicating the value you place on what they represent. Savings and investments represent security. Giving and charity represent faith.
There isn’t anything wrong with valuing security. I value it. My family has a nice emergency fund saved. We’re investing for the future. Making big decisions is so much easier when your bank account is under control.
But you’ve got to be clear what the goal of gaining security is. Be careful that your basic need for security hasn’t grown into a unending quest for more comfort, or become some game you’re trying to win by having the most stuff. Neither is really fulfilling.
That growing nest egg is freedom to do radical things with your life. Have a plan for it. Know why you have it, and what you’re going to do with it. Make it count.
Which brings us to faith.
The amount that you give away every month mirrors your ability to trust in a force larger than yourself. For me, that’s my faith in God. Since I know that everything I have is from him, I can trust him to care for me as I donate more and more of what he’s given to me.
What about you? Can you see how the money you earn could be used for a larger goal? Something outside of your control and worth more than your comfort? Grow more generous and charitable and you’ll be able to see it more clearly.
How about it? Could you flip the numbers without fear?
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.