What can you buy with $20? You can buy lunch at Chipotle, grab a Starbucks for you and a friend, or rent a new movie on Netflix. These decisions seem insignificant, but how we spend small amounts of money makes a huge difference over time. Every $20 you spend counts; it builds, it moves you forward, and shapes your life. That’s why I’m passionate about giving.
I believe the most amazing thing you can buy with $20 is nothing! Instead of buying something for yourself—begin by giving. Buying Chipotle is pretty ordinary—but when you give—you are investing in a spiritual commodity. Here are five amazing things that giving $20 can do:
- Twenty dollars says, “Thank you!” Remember what a big role Chi Alpha had in your life: finding Jesus, growing in your faith, your friendships, the community, and all the great experiences! A simple way to say “thank you” is to give $20 a month back to your Chi Alpha group. Giving is a direct way of appreciating your campus leaders and making sure the next generation of students has the same wonderful opportunities you did. When you put your giving first, everything else will line-up. Matthew 6:33 (CEV) says, “But more than anything else, put God’s work first, and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.”
- Twenty dollars connects you to God’s heart. When you practice generosity, you partner with God. God’s heart and passion are for the lost to know him. When we join God’s mission through giving, we foster intimacy with him. Giving your money ties you to God’s work and keeps your heart engaged with the things He loves. “For where your wealth is, there also will your heart be. Keep loving the things of God by giving your money to missions” (Matthew 6:21, WNT).
- Twenty dollars starts a cycle of giving and receiving. When you give to others, you will be blessed in return. “A generous person will prosper. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25, NIV). Do you want to prosper? Start with giving to others. Generosity is like a river. If you allow money to flow from you to others, the river of blessing will come around the circle and will flow back to you. It’s one of God’s amazing principles and it makes generosity fun and exciting as we enter the circle of giving and receiving. In what ways do you see blessings being returned to you?
- Twenty dollars reflects your heart. A lot of people think they can’t give because they don’t have much to give—but it’s not true! It’s not the amount that matters, it’s your heart. Jesus praised a widow who gave two mites (pennies), claiming she gave more than the wealthy! Jesus said the wealthy simply “tipped” God from their abundance. Jesus looked right past the amounts donated and saw their hearts. God sees your love for him. God sees every gift and every sacrifice. He notices you and applauds your generosity no matter the size of your gift.
- Twenty dollars helps you win the war for your soul. Every person will face an ongoing tug-of-war for their affections. Will you love the things of God or the things of the world? We will walk a tightrope between loving material things and eternal, unseen things. Without even being aware of it, our desire to acquire can slowly take over our desire to invest in the things God loves. Giving helps keep our hearts in the right place. Generosity will guard your heart against the love of money. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” It’s not money that’s evil—it’s when we love money more than God. Go ahead and make money, make lots of money, but put your generous giving in place first.
When I graduated, I began supporting a missionary couple who wanted to plant Chi Alpha at the University of Virginia. It was a stretch for me financially at the time, but I began to give them $25 a month. My small investment allowed me the privilege of seeing the group grow from zero to thousands of students over the last twenty years. I had no idea how blessed I would be! It’s been a great joy to hear about the amazing work God is doing in the lives of students. It’s one of the best decisions I made starting out.
Start giving today. It is a sacrifice, and it can be scary at first—but I promise you—you will be amazed at what your $20 can do! You will never regret giving to missions and a life of blessing will follow your generosity. I would love to hear how you are giving. Email me at email@example.com and let me know what campus, country, or ministry you are investing in.
Written by Jenny McJunkin, an alumnus and serves on National Chi Alpha’s Advisory and Advancement Board