We were your typical American couple with a family and aspirations of living life to the fullest. Our quest to achieve the goals we had set for our family and ourselves was our priority. The only problem: we werethe-kings normal. In debt up to our eyeballs and under intense pressure every month to meet our financial obligations, our giving was average at best. It’s all we could afford.

Several years ago, as a part of our faith journey, we signed up for Disciple I Bible study here at FUMC. It was a fantastic journey as we worked our way through the entire Bible with a wonderful group of people we will never forget. Not long after that, we signed up for Disciple II to further our journey. It was in that class that we began to deeply dive into what the Bible teaches about giving. Some of our class struggled with the concept of the tithe, while others that had been tithing for years shared their testimonies. We were called to give more, and we did.

Amy and I made the decision during that experience to take the plunge into serious generosity. For several years of generous giving, we were still seriously in debt. After all, it was and is just the normal thing to do. Our culture borrows money to buy everything, right? Despite our financial state, we were certainly still blessed by our generosity in many ways. We never went without, and God always provided a way as He promises in Malachi 3:10.

14450012_10207165414396737_3955937889578375334_nAlmost four years ago, Amy and I decided it was time to make a change. We attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and it changed our marriage and our lives forever. We are now completely debt free except for the house (and are working on it diligently), and have not used a credit card in almost four years. We pay cash, or we don’t buy it and live on less than we make. We are no longer slaves to debt, and it is so much easier to give without the stress. Yes, we have sacrificed some things, but God truly does honor His promises if you seek Him for a relationship.

One of the most powerful concepts we grasped through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class is why God asks us to tithe. It’s not because he needs our money. As Psalm 50:10 states, God owns “the cattle on a thousand hills.” He owns it all. We are just managers. He has us give because it changes us. Genesis  1:27 says that God made us in His own image. And, God gave His only son Jesus to be tortured and killed for our sins. God is a giver. God is an incredibly generous giver.

Something happens inside us when we give generously. It changes our attachment to money and opens up a joy inside our hearts that cannot be described. It’s how He wired us. Amy and I look forward to sharing that joy with you in the upcoming weeks as we begin our stewardship journey together with the congregation here at FUMC. We hope everyone decides to share the joy of giving with us. Peace to you, and may God bless you all.

Chris and Amy King have been members of FUMC since 2000. They have two daughters; Haley is a sophomore at LSU and Mallory is a junior at Episcopal High School. Chris is Managing Member of Next Level Solutions, LLC and President/CEO of The Cajun Army, Inc. Amy teaches first grade at Magnolia Woods Elementary School.

Pictured above right: The Kings celebrating Chris’s mother’s 80th birthday!

Pictured above left: Chris & BR Chief of Police, Carl Dabadie, volunteering with The Cajun Army at “Operation Supa Chicken,” where they served 7,000 people at Hope Community UMC.