1. Be Generous—or Your Spouse May Be Generous For You! “I was really mad about it,” says Aarav. He’s talking about the time, in 2009, that he first learned about tithing. He wasn’t mad that he had to give. “I felt I’d wasted so many years,” he says, “and I decided to do something about it.”
Aarav brought his new revelation about tithing to his wife, Drishti. “She already knew and had been hiding money and giving it away!” he says. “It wasn’t going to a proper church, but she would give it to a poor person, and just reduce our grocery budget by some. I didn’t know about it, but later she confessed to me. Now I’m happy that she was doing it behind me.”
2. Pick Your Master. “Scripture says that you cannot have two masters,” says Aarav. “The King James version talks about ‘Mammon’ and the ‘spirit of Mammon.’” How can people, in an age of Mammon avoid serving it? “The best way,” Aarav says, “is to give it away. When you hoard it, you start worshipping it.” “Nothing else is equated with God in the Scriptures,” he says. “But money has the power of becoming your God.”
Choosing the lifestyle of radical generosity has led to unexpected conversations at work. “People think I have some kind of secret investment,” he says. What does he mean? “People at my level have a decent salary, and they spend that on going for holidays and having better cars,” says Aarav. “But when they look at me, they don’t see that lifestyle.” His colleagues think he must be investing in business opportunities on the side. “They don’t have any clue about what my secret investment really is. I know exactly where I’m investing my money,” he laughs.
3. Ask Others for Their Giving Stories. As Drishti and Aarav found God to be faithful in their giving, they began to increase their giving. “I knew that, as a Christian, you had to give,” Aarav says. “God’s nature is that He’s a giver. If you don’t give, then there’s something wrong. Then I realized I should not limit myself to ten,” he says. Together, Drishti and Aarav prayed about increasing. “So it was 10 percent, then 15, 20, 25, 33. I asked others, ‘Is this crazy?’ since I didn’t know of others doing it.” Aarav would ask Drishti, he says, “and she just kept saying, ‘Yeah, let’s do that—let’s increase.’”
Along the way, they found mentors and asked whether their giving decisions were crazy. As the Aarav and Drishti opened the conversation, God built their faith. “Others would say, ‘This really works,’” says Aarav. “As we heard their testimonies, they were so blessed. They showed me Malachi 3; this is the one area that you get to test God.” “The JOG was great because it showed me that I’m not the crazy one,” he says.