Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with a number of very wealthy individuals. Many of these people are genuinely happy. Yet the key to their freedom, joy, and confidence is not their money. Having the cash to buy or do whatever you please does not guarantee contentment.
Likewise, the secret to financial freedom is not couched in wise
investments, meticulous budgets or debt-free living. All these things
are valuable — yet even the highest investment return or the most
carefully constructed budget affords very little in the way of real
confidence and joy if one key ingredient is neglected. That one
ingredient — and the ingredient that makes true freedom possible — is
generosity: the willingness to use your time, talents, and material
wealth to benefit others and impact eternity.
I have spent more than a quarter-century studying financial and investment strategies. I've written several books and spoken to countless people via television, radio, and in person. I am often introduced as "the guy with all the answers." But if I could boil down everything I have ever learned into one sentence or thought, it would be this: Generosity and financial freedom are inextricably linked.
The Bible supports this principle. "Give, and it will be given to you,"
promises Luke 6:38. "He who gives to the poor will lack nothing," says
Proverbs 28:27. And, according to 2 Corinthians 9:6?7, "Whoever
sows generously will also reap generously...for God loves a cheerful
Many of our firm's clients are living, vibrant examples of this truth. The
folks who enjoy genuine freedom and joy are those who give the most,
relative to their incomes. Giving is more than just a way to use your
money. It's a lifestyle, a way of living that allows you to hold all that
you own — including your time and your talents — with an open,
To me, one of the most significant verses of the Bible is Matthew 6:21:
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Your
treasure is the thing that is most important to you. Maybe it's a job
The Secret Ingredient to Financial Freedom, page 2
Promotion, a new house, or a new car. Maybe you want to get married
or have a child. Maybe you just need a vacation, and you dream about
soft white beaches and vibrant sunsets. Regardless of you particular
passion, your treasure is what you think about, what you go after,
what you want to attain. It's where your heart is.
What about you? God knows your heart can't be devoted both to him
and to wealth or material pursuits. You cannot, as Matthew 6:24 puts
it, serve both God and money. God does not say it's difficult, to ser
both. He does not say we should try really hard to serve both. He says
it's impossible to serve both. You must make a choice.
God asks you to give because he want's your heart. Your behavior
says a lot about what you truly believe. How do you feel about giving?
Do you really believe God loves a cheerful giver and that he will
reward your generosity? Can you hold your treasure — your money,
your possessions, you time, your talents — with an open hand? Are you
willing to give him your heart?
If your answers to questions like these point to the need for a change,
you need to know that the transformation will come as a process.
Generosity doesn't happen overnight. But God does promise us this: if
we seek him first, and keep on seeking him first, everything else —
food, clothing, and all of our needs — will be taken care of (see Matthew
I want to challenge you, philosophically, to evaluate your willingness
and ability to give. If you have not done so already, start stockpiling
your treasure in heaven. Send it on ahead. You'll be glad you did — and
all the more as you begin to watch God's miracles unfold.