March 31, 2022

Paul DeHaven

The dictionary defines counter-intuitive as an adjective that means “contrary to intuition or to common-sense expectation (but often nevertheless true).”

A recent survey asked over 2,000 people the question “How often do you worry about being able to meet normal monthly living expenses?” 26% of US Adults answered 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being “I do not worry”).

But one particular group answered 11% above the national average. There is less worry – and therefore a stronger sense of well-being – in this group. Ironically, these people are encouraged to give away 10% of their income. It is counter-intuitive that people who give away 10%, or a tenth (tithe) of their income experience a stronger sense of financial well-being than others. As you might have guessed, that group of people is Christ-followers.

Why are practicing Christians more satisfied with their financial well-being – even when they consistently give away money? I think there are two reasons:

The first is an understanding of priorities. Jesus challenged us in Matthew 6:25-26 to trust God with our needs. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” We know that we can be obedient in giving to ministry because God has given us so much in Jesus Christ.

The second reason is a challenge for all of us. 63% of practicing Christians worry to some degree about their financial well-being. The church should be a safety net and a source of encouragement for our brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle financially. Look at this description of the early church in Acts 2:44-45 “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”

If you are struggling, please reach out to one of our staff. We have budget coaching, benevolence, and a list of resources to assist you. Please do not walk this journey alone. If you are part of the 37% who experience financial peace, then please be generous to the Lord’s work.

Let’s pray together that the testimony of caring for another and reaching out to others will lead our church to experience the same blessings as the early church – that the Lord will add to our numbers daily those who are being saved.

Survey data is from the Barna group and reported in The State of Your Church, Barna 2022.