What I Learned From A Cheerful Giver

March 31, 2022
pastor rob speaking
Rob Cattalani

Giving is one of the ways we become more like Jesus. I wanted to explore this idea further, so in preparation for our current series on this topic — Giving God’s Way — I asked a couple from our church if they might share their experiences with giving faithfully for many years.

Here’s what I learned…

What is your personal philosophy on giving?

We don’t really see all our income as something to be stockpiled and spent on ourselves.  We believe that we have talents, skills, education, and have had unique opportunities as God has opened doors for us.

God has given us everything necessary to earn this income.  God is also central to our eternal hope.  Out of gratitude for all of this it’s not difficult to give back. We’ve never looked back and regretted our giving.  For us it is key to be giving out of thankfulness. 

My husband–we met at age 25–already was committed to generosity in faithful giving, a discipline that became a consistent pattern throughout our lives together.  Both from working class families of humble means, we were blessed to each have elder family members who modeled lifelong faith and generosity. Out of necessity, we also grew up learning to live beneath our means, to recognize the critical distinction between needs and wants, and to be conservative to guard against personal greed (Luke 12:18). As our educations and professional opportunities grew, the humble but consistent lifelong patterns of our early lives both sustained and grew in our commitment to more substantial giving.  

Do you practice percentage giving?

We feel that a tithe is a good guideline to put us in the ballpark of where we ought to be.  Our income can fluctuate somewhat but we know the round numbers.  One tenth is easy math, but we don’t hold on tightly to that number, with our philosophy being to give not by rules, but by principle. 

We simply try to be generous and give as much as we can so that sacrifice is felt while we still feel cheerful about it.  That may sound a bit nebulous, but we just don’t get too caught up in precise amounts.

Has your giving increased over time? 

Yes, our giving has increased over time, both to our church and beyond.  We have given consistently to ministries outside of our church home, especially to those focusing on adolescent, young adult ministries, and education.   We give to other good charities as we are led and to individuals with specific needs in addition to specific events (e.g.  Christian organizations in response to the COVID pandemic, natural disasters, etc.).  

In a practical sense, we are to the point in our lives that we are no longer striving to build financial reserves for children’s education or future needs.  But spiritually we are giving more now out of joyful and grateful hearts for the life and opportunities that God has given us — for His faithfulness to us through our lives.

We’ve never looked back and regretted our giving.  For us it is key to be giving out of thankfulness. 

How has giving impacted your faith?

God has greatly blessed our giving.  As a result, we trust Him more deeply as we experience His love and care.  Thankfulness and acknowledging His faithfulness feels like worship — pleasing Him and bringing us to a deeper relationship. 

Life’s challenges, including serious illness, have enabled us to see God’s loving hand in our family’s protection and care.  The ROOTED series study of how God views money helped us to further recognize and grow in our contentment in what we have, to deepen our dependence on Him, to have our hearts on Him despite any challenges or circumstances (Philippians 4:11-13).

How have you seen God meet your needs as you’ve given sacrificially to His work?

God has absolutely blessed us (and not just financially) when we have given generously.  Often our financial situation has improved unexpectedly; other times it feels like what we’ve given has been given right back to us. 

As do others, we have numerous examples of times that we went beyond an amount we chose to give, then to be followed by a surprise earning or financial gain. We don’t expect that, but when it has happened, we once again sense His blessing and confirmation.

These insights were a blessing to me, and I hope they’re helpful to you also. If you missed last week’s message — “Giving God Your Best” — on New Testament principles for giving, you can find it below.

We’ve also prepared a short “Guide to Grace Giving” that explores giving principles and ways to give here at Browncroft. Please click the button below for that resource.

Thank you for being part of our Browncroft family as we grow and serve together. I hope to see you this Sunday!

About The Author

pastor rob speaking
Rob Cattalani

Pastor Rob grew up in Rochester where he came to know Christ in his first year of college. After a couple years at the Xerox Corporation he decided to pursue a Masters of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. Pastor Rob was a pastor in Texas for nine years and then served as a missionary in Europe for a year. He answered the call to be Browncroft’s Senior Pastor in 2005, and his favorite part of his job is teaching and preaching God’s Word.

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