On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is #GivingTuesday. I am thankful for this new trend of giving. 

It’s a chance to pause and reflect on our consumerism. It’s a moment to rethink what we do with our money. It’s an opportunity to affect change with our giving.

Every year, my wife and I challenge ourselves to be more charitable than the year before. Instead of feeling loss, we find this discipline to be extremely rewarding.

It is life-giving to chat and pray about various causes in our world that we want to support. Causes like orphaned children, sex-trafficked victims, missionaries around the world, etc. We learn so much more about the world when we engage in giving!

Original Photo by caroline.angelo (cc)

Original Photo by caroline.angelo (cc)

We have started to include our 4 year old daughter in the process. She loves learning about the children in India that we support through Compassion International. She prays for them. She loves giving away money from her piggy bank.

The other day, she wanted to buy stickers — not for herself, but for the children in India! Even at a young age, she is experiencing the joys of giving. I believe giving is an important discipline for every world changer.

Here are four simple thoughts on giving that we have wrestled with as a family:

#1. Think “Quality of Life” not Standard of Living

Jesus promised us an abundant life. True, but I think we misunderstand that verse. Abundant life is about people not possessions. Our standard of living can be extremely high but our quality of life can be extremely low.

Many of us may be stuck in that scenario. We work hard for a big house, but never spend anytime together in it. We amass wealth for a family that never sees each other. What do we really want? A huge house or a loving home? What we save can be given away!

#2. Think “Working to Give” not Working to Live

Some of us hate our jobs. Perhaps because we are working to live. But what if you were working to give? Our everyday work feels different when we know that portions of our income will be given to set prisoners free, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and bring good news to the weary.

Often times we forget that our jobs, our health, our abilities are not ours, but they are given to us from God. We are called to be stewards of those gifts. Instead of working for ourselves, imagine working for the benefit of others. We can wake up in the morning, and give our lives away. Die to ourselves so that others might find life!

#3. Think “Content with Life” not Contents of Life

Keeping up with the Jones’ is a no-win scenario. Buying more stuff. Collecting more clutter. Increasing your debt. Finding more storage. Just so that we can look good in public… It’s all a big waste of time and space. It’s chasing the wind. We will never be satisfied with this stuff.

Instead of filling our lives with more content, let us learn to be content with what we have already. In fact, if we just slow down, we might find that we have more than enough! Abundance is a mindset! Abundance leads to more giving. Giving leads to being content with life!

#4. Get Practical, Get Started Today!

Let us take action today. It is easy just to talk about charity, but let us start to give lavishly. Let us consider giving away 10% or more of our income before the end of the year. Sit down with your family and calculate how much you can give away.

Even if it feels tough, engage in the discipline of charitable giving. You may never know the impact your family can have in the world. My wife and I support the following charities — perhaps some of these organizations will be a good fit for your family.

Take some time as a family to reflect on this #GivingTuesday. Let’s make a difference!

You are an Everyday World Changer. Start today!

What are some of your favorite charities? Why do you love to give? Please comment below or send me an email!