I was five years old the first time I tried to ice skate. My parents had to help me put my feet into a brand new used pair of skates that had two blades on each foot. The skates had double blades in order to stabilize your feet, at least that was the theory. After mom tied the laces my dad held me up as I leaned on my stick. He pushed me a little and I glided three feet before falling down. Dad helped me up again and this time he helped me to push off a little bit and I went four feet before falling down. My dad told me that I had a tough time at first, but by the end of the day I actually enjoyed skating. A week later, after several more hours on the ice, dad bought me a set of hockey skates and we went skating again. A few hours later I could go back and forth and even hit the puck with my stick every once in a while. Once I learned how to skate I started playing hockey on a team and have played ever since. I went from a beginner to a seasoned skater in baby steps. When it comes to becoming a generous person with our money, we also take baby steps.
The first step is the beginner step. Beginners give a few bucks to God’s work every now and then. They give a few dollars in cash when they have it and think they have enough for themselves. But since giving isn’t a priority they don’t give much assuming others will give more.
The second step is the learner step. Learners have gained the knowledge that God wants believers to give a portion of their money back to Him to be used to help other people. They are not quite convinced that they should give much, but they have heard or seen bible passages that talk about the significance of giving and they are willing to give a little more to see what happens.
The third step is the core step. The person who has taken the core step understands biblical generosity. They have seen God use their resources to help other people meeting physical and spiritual needs and it brings them joy. They understand that tithing is a biblical principle and that God calls them to give at least 10% of their income back to him as a way to say “thanks for blessing me.” They enjoy seeing God use the resources they gave for His glory and giving becomes part of their routine.
The fourth step is the kingdom step. People who take this step have seen God use them in powerful ways and they want to see him do more through them. They give more than 10% of their income away to kingdom priorities like church building programs, local and global missionary efforts, and anonymously helping individuals who have needs. To them, giving is a lifestyle and they would never give it up because they have been blessed by God for being faithful.
Where are you in this mix? Have you taken the next step toward kingdom generosity? I want to challenge you to take the next step because I want you to experience God blessing you more. I thought it was awesome to skate five feet but the real joy came when I played hockey on a real team.
I still play hockey and enjoy it now more than ever. In the same way, you might enjoy giving a few bucks away to a great cause but the real joy comes from being on God’s team. Being on God’s team means watching Him move through the resources you gave. God wants you on His team and he wants to bless you for trusting Him with your finances. Are you willing to take the next step today?