Harvest Principle Week 3: Give. Save. Spend.
Dear brothers and sisters,
The Harvest Principle, “You Reap What You Sow,” applies to all aspects of our life, including finances. This is a message that many people probably feel uncomfortable hearing in church, because our instinct is that our money is private and personal. What we’re ultimately talking about is unleashing the potential for our finances. Some people might have to take the step to admit that they don’t manage their finances well – and lots of people, including myself, never had a great education on this subject. So, whose help is better than God’s help? We’re not offering our own advice here – but a forewarning should be made that God’s advice counterintuitive, unconventional, maybe taking us out of our comfort zone.
How does God want us to live with our money? Put simply, he wants us to give, save, and live on the rest, in that order: perhaps 10 percent giving, 10 percent saving, and to live on the other 80%. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 where St. Paul says, “Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.” Here in this chapter St. Paul applies the Harvest Principle directly to giving. It’s a matter of our hearts – it shouldn’t be done reluctantly or under compulsion, but cheerfully. When you give that 10% off the top, it does something to our hearts – you’re saying that money doesn’t have control or power over you, and we’re telling God that we’re honoring him in our finances. We’re reminded that God is the source – He is the One who will bless us abundantly and provide for us; he is the greatest giver of all, and he gives the greatest reward possible.
Many of us have never heard of this teaching; and others have heard it, but perhaps are not putting it into practice and are giving sparingly (and therefore reaping sparingly). Wherever you are in your “giving” journey, the message today is “just do it.” God wants you to reap an abundant blessing, and he promises us this blessing. God wants you to become a generous giver, to succeed and win with your money, to trust him, to do the counter-intuitive thing to start giving first. I encourage you to lean into this conversation in small group settings, to get the Harvest Principle as it applies to your finances to start to work in your favor.
What did you learn about money growing up? How were you taught to handle it?
Do you think of turning to God for help when it comes to managing your finances? Why does it make sense to turn to him about our finances?
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 out loud. What does it mean to you to be a cheerful giver? How does Paul describe a cheerful giver?
Where have you seen the principle, “You reap what you sow later and greater,” work in your finances either in your favor or against you?
What is the next step you need to take to leverage the Harvest Principle in your favor?