This post was originally published on our blog in 2017.
Recently Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economics. He demonstrated that economists have based their conclusions on a fundamental misconception: that human beings act rationally when making decisions. This is true even when faced with financial decisions. We don’t always make decisions that are in our best interest. (Reuters, October 9, 2017)
Thaler also concluded that we would benefit from some nudging.
We know giving is in our best interest. (Acts 20:35; Matthew 19: 29; Matthew 25:34-35) We also know we’re hard-wired to experience joy when we are generous. So why is it so difficult to seek to grow in generosity? Maybe the answer is in Thaler’s research. And maybe we would benefit from a nudge.
A Giving Plan can act as your nudge.
We’re more likely to take a step forward in our giving if we create a plan and put it in writing. To-do lists work well for this reason. When we create a Giving Plan each year, we seek God’s guidance on how He would have us to grow in our giving. After that, it’s merely a matter of implementation.
While we hold the Plan lightly, because God can always bring us a surprise, it helps us avoid the unsettling practice of ruminating on decisions, procrastination, and forgetfulness. Checking the plan periodically during the year (I suggest a schedule to do so) ensures we’re giving in accordance with what we’ve laid out or whether we need to do some updating.
To grow in our relationship with God, we must face change — change in our circumstances, change in our actions, or changes in our thoughts. These changes are often the nudges we need to grow, trust, create, and work alongside Him—in our faith and in our giving decisions. Make this particular change and watch how God will use it to help your generosity grow.
Ready to create your own Giving Plan? Start here.