What is one of my biggest financial regrets? During a podcast interview, I was asked this question. I was a good question, one that I could not recall being asked before. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I knew my answer. I wish I had started tracking my generosity earlier.
My friend and author, Bob Lotich, introduced to me the idea of tracking your generosity over the years. As soon as he mentioned it, I knew I had to start the practice. I hope you will as well. Here are some reasons why you should track your generosity:
1. Generosity is our financial priority.
According to the Bible, our first financial act is to give. This teaching is woven throughout Scripture. Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (NIV). God has made generosity our financial priority because it reveals a heart that is placing trust in Him, not the dollar. When we give, we are trusting His provision and promises. We are also loosening our grip on worldly, temporary things. When we give, our heart becomes drawn toward the things of God, not the things of the world (Matthew 6:21).
2. You chase what you track.
What do you want to accomplish financially? Track it. Whatever you track, you chase. Tracking keeps the goal on your mind. The visual that comes along with tracking motivates you to keep going. This works for getting out of debt, saving for an automobile, or any other financial goal. If generosity is our financial priority, why would we not track it as well? Why would we not want to see the progress? Why would we not want to keep generosity front of mind? Why would we not want the motivation? Unless such tracking begins to create a prideful heart, consider tracking your generosity.
Heavenly treasure does not have a place on a net worth statement, yet it is a believer’s greatest asset.
3. Generosity is not included in most financial trackers.
I appreciate what other financial trackers can reveal. A net worth statement is an incredibly useful financial tool. It operates like a financial report card. However, one part that has always bothered me about the net worth statement is that generosity can be viewed as a negative, reducing a potential asset. Heavenly treasure does not have a place on a net worth statement, yet it is a believer’s greatest asset. Because of this, I like keeping track of generosity, giving it a place in my financial health numbers.
4. You get to see what God has allowed you to be a part of.
Dollars on your generosity tracker represent lives changed for eternity. Most of the impact your generosity has made will not be revealed to you until heaven. But even though you can’t see every way God is leveraging your gift, you can be assured He is using them for His purpose, mission, and glory. Tracking your generosity allows you to see what God has allowed you to be a part of.
If you have not started tracking your generosity, go back to your prior years’ tax returns and view the amount you gave. From now on, add your current generosity to that number. I have called my tracker the “Eternal Treasures Tracker” because it accurately describes the asset class. Feel free to call your tracker whatever you like. My hope is that, by tracking your generosity, you will find yourself chasing after our financial priority in a way you never have before. Start tracking your generosity today.