In the spring of 2011, Andrea and I had reached giving goals that we had set for ourselves the year before. We were feeling great that God had so blessed us that we were able to give at levels we had never attained before.
Having given beyond the tithe for years, this marked a new level of generosity for us. And, to top it off, these goals were reached during the same year our youngest entered college.
Now we were paying the expenses for two to be in full-time higher education, and yet, giving at never-before-seen levels! Thank you, God.
Imagine a 43-year-old guy, a little thick around the middle and with a “talkative” knee, waking up one morning and announcing, “Today I’m going to join the Olympic Track and Field team, and I’m going to compete in – and win – the decathlon.” Ridiculous, right?
That’s not much different than an average church attendee who gives next to nothing to his church waking up and announcing, “Today I’m going to begin tithing. Actually, I’m going to do more than that. I’m going to also give an above-and-beyond gift to that building campaign we just started. In fact, I think I’ll give 30% of my income. My gross income.”
This week it was announced that more billionaires have signed on to take the Giving Pledge, a challenge by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to give away at least 50% of one’s wealth. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is the latest to join in the effort. Estimated to have earned $6.9 Billion from the social media website’s creation, Zuckerberg is one of the youngest to take the pledge at age 26.
“People wait until late in their career to give back,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “But why wait, when there is so much to be done? With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts.”
Zuckerberg’s business partner Dustin Moskovitz, also took the pledge, along with 15 other newly committed philanthropists. They include Carl Icahn, Michael Milken and Steve Case. You can read the complete list of donors and their letters here.