Category Archive: Maximizing Giving

Are You Seeking to Build True Wealth?

Find true wealth
Find true wealth by putting God first in your life. Give all things to Him. Hold your wealth in your open hands and give it all to God. Don’t put your trust in worldly wealth. Hard-earned wealth can disappear overnight as economic bubbles burst, companies go bankrupt, and housing markets collapse. Be careful where you place your trust.

C. S. Lewis once said, ―All that is not of eternal use, is eternally useless.‖ This is completely the point of true wealth. It has an eternal purpose. It has a foundation in faith, love, and God. Do you love people and use things or use people and love things? The driving force for accumulating true wealth is to advance God’s kingdom.  Check out www.thriveinyourlife.com

Thrive in your life

Who needs your help? When you look past your self-interests and seek to bring joy to others, God will bring joy to your life. It is more joyous to give than to receive. Make a commitment to live a simple life and use your wealth to support worthy causes. Until you get your priorities straight and focus on the truly important things in life, it will be nearly impossible to put principles before profits.

Once you align yourself with God and place Him first, you will often be ready to make two important mind shifts:

1. You will begin to care more about where you invest His money.
2. You will look for ways to multiply His money to help more of His people.

By pursuing these two philosophies, you place God first and break the stronghold of materialism. Place principles before profits and focus on people rather than things. This is an important step in the journey toward true wealth.

Should You Raise Your Standard of Living Or Your Standard of Giving?

Why do you want more money?

I see many people working hard to meet their family’s immediate needs and to support organizations and charities they value. They have purpose and a strong set of priorities. On the other hand, I also see many working hard just to accumulate nicer things and to spend more on personal pleasures. This is where you can begin to step into the undercurrents of materialism. Be careful. The undertow will sweep you away.

It is not that you are making a large salary that creates the problem. It is when you do not reciprocate your blessings and give back to those less fortunate that materialism can creep in. Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to have some nice things. God created this world for our enjoyment, but realize this world is temporary, eternity is forever.

Here are a few questions to help you evaluate your attitude toward money:

• Do I find contentment in the things I already have or do I long for more?
• Are my dreams for the future about things or people?
• Do I find myself comparing my accomplishments and material possessions to those of others around me?
• Do I buy items based on prestige rather than value?
• Could I live in a smaller house/apartment?
• Could I sell my car and buy a less expensive one?
• Could I give up all my material possessions?
• What are some of the most important things in my life? Are these things being properly reflected in how I allocate my time, money, and energy?

What Power Does Money Have Over You?

Are you a slave to money?

A person who struggles with money is often a slave to money. Many who say money is not important focus and desire money more than those who have abundance. This is because those struggling are often up to their eyeballs in debt, are less likely to be able to ―afford to tithe, and choose jobs rather than callings to ―pay the bills.  In other words, they let money control their choices—what they can and cannot afford to buy, whether they can or cannot give, and where they work.

This can be as dangerous as the person ―in love with money. It can have the same power over you. The rich young ruler needed to get rid of his riches because the riches were first in his life—above God. If you place God above riches, there is no reason to view money as evil. In fact, it can be used for His purposes.

If you instead choose to have power over money, you can use money as a tool to advance God’s kingdom by supporting ministries and helping to build churches, thereby saving lives and souls for God’s glory. How you think about money and your relationship with money reflect your true intentions. How you earn money and what you do are what matters most. A desire to be wealthy so you can be more generous is not wrong. However, a desire to be wealthy so you can be self-indulgent is wrong.

In 2008, I wrote The Faith-Based Millionaire to help people ―get more so they could ―give more. The “Get to Give Manifesto” I talked about involved seven commitments:

1. Commit to tithing (10 percent of your income and financial gains) and commit to offerings (additional gifts above your tithe).
2. Commit to having a larger vision of how you can help advance God’s kingdom—your specific calling and how God can use your time, talents, and treasure.
3. Commit to changing your perspective of wealth—it is a tool that is used to do more of God’s work.
4. As a Christ follower, commit to taking more risks! Stop being so cautious all the time; stop seeking safety! God wants you to lay it on the line.
5. Commit to increasing your assets so you have more to give.
6. Commit to becoming better educated about your finances—choose sound investments that complement your faith.
7. Commit to seeking wise counsel from a team of professionals who share your faith.

Poverty does not spread the gospel; it spreads hopelessness and despair. It costs money to fund ministries, build churches, print tracts, and feed bodies and souls. You can win at the money game and experience financial freedom that will allow God to fully use your time, talents, and treasure! Learn how to truly ―master your money rather than being ―enslaved by it. This is a choice—which path will you choose?

Giving advances God’s creation
Every financial plan should have the flexibility to allow you to give to any organization or charity you wish to support without putting a strain on your monthly finances. This should be a top priority in any faith-based plan. The first investments should be in God’s kingdom. By this I mean building churches, helping ministries, and supporting local church-funded charities. Many people do not implement giving in their monthly budget, financial plan, or investments.

Although it’s commendable to give what you can, when you can, this is not the motto of a faith-based financial plan. One piece of advice I often give young Christian couples is this: ―God does not want a tip, He wants your whole heart and for you to show Him that He is number one in your life.‖ Money is like seeds to a farmer. Each dollar can be planted to produce more and more dollars. The same can be said about your income. Don’t save and spend all of it; rather, give some back to God, and reap what you sow.    What are your thoughts?

Everyone Needs a Coach!

A good coach can bring light to your situation

After 6 years, Tiger Woods recently made a major change.  Before you start with the infidelity jokes, I’m talking about major changes in his career – professional golf.    Tiger got to the top of his golf game with a little help from his coach.  However after six years of coaching, Tiger called it quits.

Why is Tiger Woods parting ways with his golf coach?  The reality is Tiger needed to make a move.  When something isn’t working, it is really frustrating – for everyone involved!

I talk with hundreds of people each month via the telephone, email, and in person. Money always seems to be a hot topic!  With the stock market back on a roller coaster course – people are more dazed and confused!  Many coaches, financial advisors, and stock brokers are asset gatherers not asset managers.  They have a vested interest to keep you invested in the markets even when it may not be the best choice for you.   Is your coach part of your team or do they have a hidden agenda?  Why not find an advisor who help bring light to your situation?

It may be time for you to change coaches too

Just like Tiger, it may be time for you to change coaches. The sharp ups and downs recently in the markets are a shocking reminder of what we saw in 2008 and 2009.  Don’t go back down that path! If you have found that you are not where you need to be financially or not getting the help you desire, it may be time for a coaching change! Take control of your future today.  Email me at jay@jayperoni.com for a FREE 30 minute evaluation of your financial situation!

With over 15 years of experience, I can look at your:

  • Investment strategies
  • Retirement plans
  • Business ideas and ways to grow business
  • Estate and legacy plans
  • Tax efficiency (or lack thereof)
  • Savings and spending
  • Debt management
  • And how all these tie together with your faith and values

Got Faith, Need Action?

The Greatest Message Ever

While faith determines our eternal destination, our behavior determines our eternal rewards. Our handling of money is a litmus test of our true character. The greatest

message on money and possessions is found in Matthew 6:19-24:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,

where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in

and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,

where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves

do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is,

there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the

body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full

of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will

be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness,

how great is that darkness! No one can serve two

masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other,

or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and Money.” (NIV)

Prepare to Give

See that you need God before you need money. Money without God is like a car without gas. You won’t go very far. When you break free from the grip money has on you and learn contentment, you will quickly discover that God provides everything you’ll ever need. You may not have every want filled, but every need will be filled.

Give with a Grateful Heart

Realize how much good is in your life. Bad things may happen, but life is good. The glass is always half full. Try to be grateful for each day, and live as if it may be your last. With this mentality, what can you do today that you may not get the opportunity to do tomorrow? Put God first, and find ways to give more of your time, energy, and money to make a difference.

Start Small, but Start Somewhere

If you have never given, even if it is small, start somewhere. If you have been giving inconsistently, start giving regularly. Giving is the best gift you will ever receive. There are so many spiritual, personal, and health-related benefits. Give as a percentage of your income rather than a fixed dollar amount, and try to gradually increase your giving percentage each year.

Be on the Lookout for Opportunities to Give

You do not need to look far to see others in need. Ministries, charities, and churches desperately need your help in assisting others who are hurting. Despite living in one of the greatest economic periods in world history, giving as a percentage of income has steadily been decreasing.

Do You Need a Little Antidote?


The Antidote

An antidote is a substance that counteracts a form of poisoning. Sometimes the antidote for a particular toxin is manufactured by inject­ing the toxin into an animal in small doses and the resulting antibodies are extracted from the animal’s blood. The poisonous bites inflicted by some snakes, spiders, and other venomous animals are often treatable by the use of these antivenins, although a number do lack one, and a bite or sting from such an animal may result in death. Some animal venom, especially that produced by arthropods (e.g., certain spiders, scorpions, bees, etc.), is potentially lethal only when it provokes allergic reactions and induces anaphylactic shock; as such, there is no “antidote” because it is not a form of poisoning, though anaphylactic shock can be treated.

Giving is the only antidote to materialism. God prospers us to raise not our standard of living but our standard of giving. Martin Luther said it best: “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I placed in God’s hands that I still possess.”

Each time you give away money, you release its grip on you. By helping others, you find true meaning in life. You begin to discover purpose. You find that money can be used for a greater good. It is more blessed to give than to receive. You receive far more when you give than when you keep.

The New Giving Mentality

John Templeton, one of the great international money managers, once said, “The best investment with the least risk and the greatest divi­dend is giving.” He figured out that investing in noble causes provided greater personal gains than the financial benefits of traditional invest­ing. If you looked at your giving activities and developed a strategy con­sistent with your values, you may find additional motivation to increase what you make so you can give more away. When you become more selfless, life becomes more worthwhile and enjoyable. It all begins with developing a giving mentality where you truly put others before your own self-interests.

Sample giving mentality:

  1. I commit to helping others less fortunate than I.
  2. I will give at least 10 percent of my income to help others.
  3. Of my remaining income, I will seek to make generous gifts.
  4. I will ask God to teach me to give sacrificially.
  5. I realize I cannot take worldly riches with me when I die so I will focus on eternal riches.

The Law of Reciprocation: Does Giving Lead to Blessings?

“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.”
–Barbara Bush

Unfortunately, it goes without saying that many Americans today give just to receive. Evidence of this exists all around the world. When you’re mad at someone they often become mad at you. If you are nice to someone, they’ll usually be nice back. When someone goes out of their way to do something nice, most people will try to return the favor. The law of reciprocation is at work everywhere.

When you look at finances, many people will discredit the law of reciprocation in this area. I disagree. I have seen many people refuse to give money to charities because they think that money donated is money that will be hard to make back, or it won’t be used for its intended purpose. This thought process occurs out of fear, greed, materialism, or selfishness. People often refuse to give because they believe they will not receive instant gratification.

When you have faith you should have every reason to believe you will be blessed when you give. It may not be today, tomorrow, or the next day, but you will be blessed. I have seen this firsthand in my life and the lives of countless others. Sometimes blessings come in the monetary variety, but often there are more important blessings. One personal example involved good friends of mine who tried for years to get pregnant with many difficulties. Then one day out of the blue, we got a call saying they were finally going to have a baby! There are numerous examples of this happening every day–even people beating cancer, overcoming serious illnesses. One day they’re on a deathbed, the next day they’re walking around as good as new. I am talking about supernatural occurrences–things that could never be logically explained.

Are these stories of God giving back miraculously to those who give to Him? I believe the answer is yes. Still, even with real-life stories of the miracles God blesses us with, so many still have that little voice in their head of self-doubt. We live in such a results-oriented society that many people want a return the second they give. Like food that fills you up and drink that quenches your thirst, you may become accustomed to the “If I do X, then Y will occur” mentality. When you give money to a charity or ministry, there may not always be an instant reward. That is the point! It is so beautiful, yet so simplistic: when money is given away, there should be no expectation of a return. People will always remain skeptical, but I firmly believe that even if getting is a natural outcome of giving, it should not be your motivation to give.

Planning Your Legacy – The Process of Transferring Wealth

The other day, I was listening to David Crowder’s version of “Everyone Wants to Go to Heaven, but Nobody Wants to Die!” If you haven’t heard the song…well it sums up how many people feel. They don’t want to talk about death so they avoid planning for after they leave this earth. Legacy planning is a huge area where so many people miss the mark.

What is a legacy?

A Legacy is defined as:

1. Money or property bequeathed to another by will.

2. Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past: a legacy of religious freedom.

Heritage is another area that we need to look at:

1. Property that is or can be inherited; an inheritance.

2. Something that is passed down from preceding generations; a tradition.

3. The status acquired by a person through birth; a birthright: a heritage of affluence and social position

Legacy planning is one of the most critical aspects of the money management area. As Christians, we have a unique need for planning our legacies. However, most Christians have not prepared even the basic documents needed, never mind the fun and creative things one can do. It is estimated that nearly 7 out of every 10 adults do not even have a will. End of life planning is an area that most Christians find confusing, time consuming, and fearful. Many people do not want to think about their demise. Unfortunately, procrastination often leads to a financial train wreck left for their beneficiaries.

Everyone has a limited number of days here on earth. There is a beginning and an end to our life. God knows the exact day and time of your demise. The reality is that every one of us will die someday and we cannot bring earthly riches with us.

In the area of legacy planning, it is critical to understand that it is a process that should begin now. Its goals should be to honor God and advance His kingdom. Since we cannot take it with us, we should begin to plan our legacy for our beneficiaries. You never know when the end may come and you can’t change it once you’re gone.

After realty sets in we all know that we will die someday, we cannot take “things” with us, and we will most likely not know the exact date of our death. This means planning beforehand is critical and cannot be delayed. The confusing part of the planning is dealing with the consequences of passing assets. Some of the most common difficulties include:

1. What are the best ways to transfer assets while alive and at death?

2. How do I deal with sibling rivalry?

3. How do I create a business succession plan?

4. How do I pass wisdom?

5. How will I pass my values?

6. How do I navigate the legal and tax consequences?

7. Should I leave money to my church, a ministry, charity, and my family? What percentages?

Have you spent time thinking through these areas? Do you have a legacy plan? Are you set up properly in the event of your demise? Do you have enough life insurance? Do you have wills, trusts, and proper planning documents? All these questions can be answered to your satisfaction, when you seek a component advisor – preferably one who shares your faith and values. If I can help point you in the right direction, as always, don’t hesitate to email me at info@jayperoni.com.

Great Video on Tithing From CNN Money & Money Magazine

Just wanted to share this video:

Balancing costs of family &  faith

http://money.cnn.com/video/pf/2009/02/26/money.religion.christians.moneymag/

Time for an Eye Exam?

Eye Exam

A E I O U

D O I H A

V E A V I

E W T O W

A R D

G O D

Where is your world view? Can you still see God in the world? Your worldview today is based on what you have learned thus far in your life. As they say “you do not know what you do not know”. In order to get a grasp of your worldview, some important questions need to be addressed. There are things you need to know about yourself: what do you believe and why do you believe it? Here is the exam. For each question, ask yourself what do I believe and why do I believe it:

* Is there a god and what is he like?

* What is the nature and origin of the universe?

* What is the nature and origin of man?

* What happens to man after death?

* Where does knowledge come from?

* What is the basis of ethics and morality?

* What is the meaning of human history?

Based on how you answer these questions, you can begin to see if your viewpoint is in harmony with God’s Word. To double check your work, look to the Bible, pair with another and check your answers, challenge one another.

So why is a Biblical Worldview Important?

When you have a biblical worldview, you are putting God’s will before yours. When God is first you will live better, make better decisions, and have a better sense of purpose. In order to incorporate a biblical worldview with your finances, some biblical truths need to be explored.

Every financial decision starts with God. God is Sovereign. God is ultimately in charge of your life including finances. God created finances. He transcends time and history and can make anything happen .with your life. He can use you at any given moment if you allow Him. He is a personal God that takes a interest un our lives. Because he has an interest in our lives, he has a plan for each of us. If we easily buy into the world’s way of thinking, we may limit our growth, dismiss callings, be more apt to blend rather than be a guiding light. Our worldview determines how closely we will follow God and His direction for our lives.