#364 Let’s Talk Money: Share It

December 13, 2023

We previously observed that serving leaders see themselves as stewards of money and they are thoughtful about how they obtain money. With this foundation, the heart of serving leaders is fully expressed when they generously share their financial resources with others.  Serving leaders live their entire lives with a focus on others and this is expressed by sharing with others. This heart of generosity is shaped by verses like the following:

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, NIV).

“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).

Giving expresses a heart that is focused on serving others instead of self. Serving leaders open their hearts to those they serve in many ways. In finances this focus on others is expressed in generous sharing.

Serving leaders share money by design.      

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jesus’ words remind us that it is a greater blessing to give than to receive. Some leaders casually give when an urgent need is presented to them but forget about giving at other times. By default, they focus more on getting money than on giving. But serving leaders are thoughtful and intentional about giving. They look for ways to give, places to give, people to bless. They stop and reflect on what they give and how they can increase their giving. They are intentional.

Because they are stewards serving leaders seek to give in ways that reflect the heart of the true owner of their resources, God! They pray often about how and where to give. They recognize that while giving always blesses the one who gives, it sometimes can have unintended negative consequences for the recipient.* So they look for ways to give a hand to those in need in ways that empower and bless. They carefully select organizations that are making a significant impact and support them. Serving leaders recognize that the most impactful giving happens by design.  

Serving leaders share money with delight.   

“God loves a cheerful giver.” Not every person who gives does so with joy. Some leaders feel compelled to give or guilty for not giving or they want to be seen by others as givers, but their heart is not in it. But serving leaders love to give and do so cheerfully!  Those who give are the most fun people to be around and serving leaders are delighted to share.

Serving leaders share money for demonstration.

Leaders who have experienced the blessing and joy of giving naturally want others to experience the same. So, serving leaders share money to demonstrate to others how to develop a generous heart. They do not give to show off, but they do give to influence others to also give. Like the Macedonian church, they become an example of generosity to others. A serving leader I visited recently told me that one of the goals of their company is to foster a spirit of generosity among their employees. That is the heart of serving leadership, wanting others to also experience the joy and blessing of giving.

For further reflection and discussion:

  • Give yourself a “generosity inventory” by reflecting on these questions:
    • How often do I reflect on how I can give more, how I can give more wisely, how I can give more joyfully?  
    • Is my level of sacrificial generosity increasing or decreasing?  
    • Do I ever give grudgingly or reluctantly?
    • Does my family and those who are closest to me see me as a giver or a taker?           
  • What can I do to give with more intentionality?
  • How can I encourage those I lead to be more generous?
  • Consider these additional verses related to giving: (Proverbs 3:9-10, 11:25, 22:9, 28:7, 22; Luke 6:38, and 2 Corinthians 8:1-7) What more do you learn about generosity from these verses?

Until next time, yours on the journey,

Jon Byler

*For great insights into how giving to the poor can sometimes harm recipients, I recommend the book “When Helping Hurts.”

Christmas Greetings 2023

I want to take a moment to wish you, your family and those you serve a blessed Christmas. We pause at this time of the year to celebrate the birth of Jesus who changed the course of history in so many ways. His example of suffering, humility and giving His life for the sake of others showed us a radically different way to lead. After years of reflections and seeking to emulate His example, I still find that there is so much more to learn!

I’m privileged to walk with you on the journey to become more like Him. I want to thank you for taking your time to read these reflections over the past year. And to those who have encouraged others to subscribe, I’m grateful! At any point, I welcome your thoughts or suggestions for improvements or ideas for topics that would be helpful to you.

I also want to thank those who help get this out to you every two weeks. Linda Boll and Milonica Stahl-Wert carefully edit every issue. Brian Drewery makes the technology work to get the issues out. And Gabriel Mandrazo and Grace Kacheto volunteer their time to translate these into Spanish and Chichewa. I’m so grateful for each one.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! I’ll be traveling to Kenya this year to celebrate Christmas with my wife’s family where I’m sure a slaughtered goat will be on the menu!

God bless you as you continue your own leadership journey!

Yours because of Jesus,

Jon Byler