How to get out of neutral and grow in generosity

August 1, 2023   |   Impact

As we have walked with hundreds of clients over the years, we’ve found over and over that one of the most effective ways to increase the financial peace, freedom, and impact you can experience is to cultivate a practice of generosity.

It’s so important, in fact, that we specifically identify the amount of funds available for giving and generosity as one of the key areas we address in our planning process!

Often, once we do that, we hear questions like, “It’s great that we now know how much we can give, but how do we get started?” or “How do we decide where the best place is for us to give?”

These are critical questions; however, we must be careful.

While well-meaning, these questions can easily lead to analysis paralysis and prevent us from moving forward in our giving.

So today, I want to share two practical ways to get your “giving tires” rolling again if you’ve found yourself stuck in neutral on your generosity journey.


Note: This video was originally produced for our monthly client newsletter, Guidepost.

Tip #1: Be willing to take a new step!

My old swim coach used to tell me, “Doug—trust your training. If you want to swim faster, you have to swim faster.”

And what he meant by that was that I would never become a stronger swimmer just by thinking about it. I had to train my body to swim faster—by actually doing it, by pushing myself to go a just little bit faster, and then a little bit faster than that, and then a little bit faster than that!

We’ve found that growing in generosity is quite similar. It’s a muscle we can train over time.

If we want to give more, we must be willing to take a step of faith and start giving more—even if it is a bit uncomfortable at first!

Yet, like we can’t expect to go from couch potato to swimming like Michael Phelps overnight, increasing our giving in incremental next steps over time is ok!

(Note: This is especially important for married couples to help keep them on the same page regarding their giving.)

Remember, the goal here is to foster a lifelong spirit and practice of joyful generosity—not to force something out of a sense of duty or guilt. So no matter where you are on your journey, I encourage you to be more generous in some way this week, even if it’s just some small way.

Try it and see how you make out!

Now, on to the second tip.

Tip #2:  Give to one of God’s “Top Three.”

If what’s keeping you in neutral is that you’re struggling with where to give, then start by giving to one (or more) of God’s “Top Three.”

Throughout scripture, God invites us to partner with Him in three main priority areas:

  1. Caring for the poor and oppressed
  2. Reaching the lost
  3. Strengthening the believers

If you’re unsure where to give, give to one of these areas that touches your heart the most! If none stand out, start with the first one. Look for opportunities to give to the poor. (We’ve included a helpful list below of some excellent organizations we’ve supported through our LifeGuide Impact Fund)

There are so many people in need right now and many effective ways to help them—both around the world and in our own backyard.

Giving is such a powerful force for good. And it’s meant to be fun, exciting, and encouraging to everyone involved.

We have seen firsthand the joy and contentment that generosity creates in the giver and how giving can dramatically change (and even save!) the lives of the receivers.

I’m reminded of the story in Scripture where Jesus feeds the 5,000.

Just imagine how that young boy must have felt as he stood there and watched Jesus feed an entire crowd of more than 5,000 people with his five small loaves of bread and two fish. Imagine how thankful all those hungry men, women, and children must have been for that much-needed meal!

God’s ability to take our gifts—no matter how large or small—and use them for His glory and the good of His people is unmatched. All that’s required is for us to show up as we are and trust as we give.

So, I encourage you to ask God to show you at least one step you can take this week to grow in giving and generosity. AND THEN TAKE IT!

  Doug Denlinger, RLP®, CKA®
  LifeGuide’s Managing Partner

Looking for a place to give?

Start with your local church! Your local church is an excellent place to give and likely involved in all of God’s “Top Three!”

Looking for more? Below are a few examples of some wonderful organizations doing incredible work we’ve been privileged to support through the LifeGuide Impact Fund.

1) Caring for the poor and oppressed

2) Reaching the lost

  • New Life Community ChurchA diverse family of Christ-followers offering love, hope, and practical assistance
  • Peace PromiseCare and change for women exploited by the sex industry and trafficking
  • Gospel TideWorldwide evangelism through Christian radio broadcasts and training

3) Strengthening the believers

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