One of the most frequent questions I get from prospective and current clients is, “How much money should I give to charity?”
This isn’t an easy question to answer, particularly for Christians, who are encouraged to be regular and sacrificial in their giving throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Many churches today, especially in the area of the country I live in, encourage or even sometimes require their members to “tithe” from their income (“tithe” literally means “one-tenth” or 10%).
This opens up all sorts of questions as it relates to Christian giving…
- Is tithing Biblical?
- Is 10% the minimum or is 5% OK?
- What about 15-20%? Or more?
- Does it depend on my income level or the number of kids I have?
- Should I give based on my gross or net income?
- How much is “enough” when it comes to Christian giving?
- Or any giving for that matter?
- What about my business? Should I be giving from it as well?
These are all great questions and at some point in a future blog post (or series), we’ll explore exactly what the Bible, in particular, has to say about giving. For now though, I want to simply leave you with one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis that I included in the previous post, in case you missed it.
C.S. Lewis on “How much should I give to charity?”
Here’s what good, old Clive Staples had to say about Christian giving in his classic work, Mere Christianity…
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common of those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.
If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small.
There ought to be things that we’d like to do but cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.
As is often the case, these are some wise words from Mr. Lewis.
Wise words indeed.
Want to talk more about how giving fits into your overall financial plan?
Together, we’ll explore your current giving habits and discuss whether or not an ongoing advisory relationship makes sense in your situation!