Many families from across the United States experience devastating losses from weather conditions that produce white-out blizzards and damaging tornadoes. I remember one year, not far from our home, when neighborhoods were destroyed by an E4 Tornado in Dallas County, Texas.
As my family watched the news coverage, stories began to emerge of lives and properties lost in an instant. The two questions asked over and over again by reporters, neighbors, family members, and strangers alike are how are they going to pick up these pieces and where are they going to live?
I was struck by the immediate outpouring of help and assistance by individuals from across our state that dropped off supplies, clothing, necessities, financial donations and offered shelter to total strangers. In the midst of the most difficult times, legacies are defined and lived out.
Challenging situations and circumstances provide great opportunities to show your kids the heart of giving. The way you respond to the challenges others face models a legacy of giving within your family that will be emulated by future generations. When you see others in desperate need, step into these opportunities and meet these needs as a conduit of God’s love and grace.
We see a great example lived out for us through the early church, "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts." (Acts. 2:44-46)
As you reflect on what type of legacy of giving you are living out in your home I have outlined below five Giving Personalities to help you analyze where your family currently is in the area of financial giving.
1. Pocket Change – The person who gives out of their pocket based on impulsiveness or emotion. Giving a few dollars spontaneously at church or a charity event for the purpose of feeling personal satisfaction for doing good for another. Giving out of what is convenient and available at the moment also known as impulse giving.
2. Intentional – The person who gives for self-serving purposes; expecting, in exchange for their gift, to receive accolades or a tax deduction. What they receive is much more important than the reason they are giving.
3. Committed – The person who gives consistently and makes giving a budget commitment. However, since their giving is not 10 percent of their first fruits, they are attempting to override their lack of trust by giving minimum amounts consistently instead of giving openly.
4. Faithful Giver – This persona is a responsible and faithful manager of their assets recognizing God is the owner of all they have. They give fervently as they tithe and give special gifts beyond their tithe.
5. Embracing the Call – This person is a unique individual who understands he/she are facilitators of God's Love. They realize all their talent, time, and money is God's. These are the individuals who live on 10% and give 90% back to the church and others.
Fear, Control, Greed, and Faith affect all five levels of Giving Personalities. We can overcome these negatives by growing our faith through pursuing a stronger understanding of our purpose; what God has designed and called us to do.
There may be times when there are no extra financial resources available to give and it’s all you can do to keep your own head above water. If you find yourself in this place remember the opportunity to encourage, befriend, love, and care deeply for others is giving an incredible gift – and living a legacy of giving. Legacy giving begins with a sincere heart.
As we learn more and more what it means to die to our self-centered life we begin more and more to see, love, and give to others through God’s eyes and heart. Legacy giving teaches the next generation, we are all given the opportunities to give God's love.
Create a giving legacy by living a life that impacts your family and community for generations to come.
Guy Hatcher, The Legacy Guy® – passionately coaches individuals and families in how to live a life filled with purpose while building a strong legacy that will deeply influence present and future generations. Follow him on Facebook: @Guy Hatcher, Instagram: @Guy Hatcher, Twitter @guyhatcher or contact him at www.guyhatcher.com
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