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The Reason For Giving - Foundation Series

Faith & Finance with Rob West | Dec 26, 2022


Show Notes

At the end of the year, many people do extra giving, sometimes trying to take advantage of tax deductions, and sometimes just because they’re trying “catch up” with giving they intended to do earlier. Whatever the immediate motive may be, giving — for the Christian — should have a deeper motive. Today we'll talk about that on MoneyWise.

  • Every so often on our Monday programs, we circle back to “first principles,” to the foundational teachings of Christian stewardship that should guide our everyday lives.
  • We like to revisit the five basic things you can do with money. Here they are: You can earn it, live on it, give it away, owe it to someone or the government, or you can grow it for the future by saving and investing.
  • Those five are easy to remember: earn, live, give, owe, and grow.
  • In this program, we're focusing on giving money away. There’s a good deal of emphasis on giving at the end of the year. A lot of that is because of the tax deduction allowed for giving. People want to get their giving done so they claim a deduction on their 2022 taxes.
  • The deduction has changed since last year. For tax year 2021, you could deduct $300 in charitable giving — $600 if you were filing jointly as a married couple — even if you didn’t itemize. But that was a temporary deduction that does not apply for 2022.
  • To get a deduction for giving you do have to itemize. But with the standard deduction being being much higher than it used to be, only about 12% of taxpayers still itemize.
  • There’s nothing wrong with taking a charitable-giving deduction if you meet the requirements, but whether or not you get a tax break should not be the deciding factor in whether to give.
  • That’s because, for the Christian, giving is a matter of the heart. It is a sign, or a demonstration, of our love for the Lord.
  • Giving a gift to a friend or family member is a way of saying, “I love you, and I am so glad you’re in my life.” Money has value to us. We work hard for it. So when we use it to buy a gift for someone, we’re saying, “I treasure you more than money.
  • The same is true of giving to God’s work — whether through giving to a local church or a specialized ministry — we’re saying, “Lord, I treasure you more than money.
  • It certainly seems providential that here in the U.S., our coins and currency have on them the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Every time we see that, it would be appropriate to say, “Amen!
  • Our attitude as believers is that our trust is in God, and not in the money we have. When we give, we offer testimony that we really do trust him — we trust him to meet our needs, and we trust that his grace is sufficient for us in every situation.
  • In 1859, French tightrope walker Charles Blondin walked above Niagara Falls on a tightrope — 1,100 feet from end to end. He then did it again, blindfolded. After that, he asked the crowd, “Do you believe I can do it again?” They had already seen him do it more than once! So they called out approvingly, “Yes, we believe you can do it again!
  • At that point, Blondin asked for a volunteer to climb on his back and go across the Falls with him. As you probably can guess, no one in the crowd volunteered. No one believed in him that much.
  • Well, when we give generously, from the heart and with the right motives, it’s like saying, “Lord, I do trust you that much. I believe that although I am giving this money away, you’ll take care of me and meet all my needs.
  • As you do your year-end giving, remember these two things. First, giving is an affair of the heart — it’s about what we truly treasure, and second, it is a sign of our trust in the Lord.
  • As we give, we reflect the heart of God, who gave us his only Son — the One whose birth we just celebrated.

On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:

  • If you are age 66 and have a 401k through work and a Roth IRA through Betterment, what is the total amount you can contribute to these accounts?
  • Is a target retirement 2025 fund an appropriate allocation to be invested in if you are age 66 but not expecting to need the funds for nine more years?
  • Are there any faith-based financial and legal institutions?
  • How can your husband build up his credit score of 650 if he recently took out a personal loan to pay off credit card debt?


Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app.

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