A Cheerful Giver? by Wendy Knutson, CPA

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In II Corinthians verse 7 Paul tells us “…God loves a cheerful giver”. But how can we be cheerful when we’re living paycheck to paycheck? When we have more month than money? When we feel we don’t have enough to survive, how can we give?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying our exercise of reading, as a congregation, Jesus’ words as told by John. Every day as I read the assigned section, I imagine my fellow Holy Cross family members reading the same. As I was reading I came across this gem where Simon Peter is talking to Jesus. It hit me how it relates to generosity:

“…Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…” John 6:68

When Jesus offers us eternal life, how can we not look to Him for all our needs? Why do we go elsewhere? The pull of the world is strong. But the world lies to us. The world tells us things like: you deserve this, you need that, get it while you can, look out for number one. But Jesus calls us to something higher, to something better. Eternity.

Before we can be generous, we must get our financial house in order. Start with the basics. Make a plan. Dare I say, make a budget.

I was always resistant to a budget. As a CPA it’s a natural fit for me to handle balancing the Knutson books. When facilitating Financial Peace University (FPU), right out of the gate, the assignment was to prepare a budget. Yikes! “Do as I say, not as I do” wasn’t going to cut it. FPU taught us to invite God into the process. What a novel idea! When Dan and I sat down to review the first budget, we earnestly prayed. God held our hands and guided us through. He provided a smooth, productive meeting. Miraculous! Now, some 18 months later, on the first Sunday of each month, over breakfast, we review our budget. It’s a time to reflect on the many blessings God has provided and it aligns us a team.

There are a myriad of tools to assist with budgeting and tracking expenses. Pick one and get started. I’m a self-professed geek about personal finance and its tools. From manual spreadsheets to high-end software, I’ve tried them all. If you’re stuck or just want some help, I’m here for you. I’d love to assist. Start today on your personal road to generosity and all God has promised YOU. If you’re already working a budget at home, I would love to hear how it’s impacted your family! 

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