I’m a volunteer member on the board of our local church, Potomac Valley Assembly – here’s the link (http://www.pvachurch.com/pwsite/index.php).

Since I’ve got my MBA degree, the board selected me as treasurer. It’s an honor to serve in that role and there are some insights that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me and may help you regarding finances and giving.

There are three basic aspects of wealth or money that are important, yet often overlooked.

1. How you earned it – was it obtained legally and ethically? While this may seem inconsequential it’s actually quite a significant point because it drives the next aspect of your finances.

2. Money’s priority in your life – do you see money as a tool for you to use or does it use you? Money itself is not the problem, but having an all-consuming “increase at all costs” mentality is a problem. Here’s an oft-misquoted passage regarding money, 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with much grief.” Having money is not bad - loving it is.

3. What you do with your earnings – the obvious activities regarding the use of our finances are paying bills (e.g. food, shelter…etc.) and saving for the future. The money that’s left over is your disposable income that you can spend anyway you want.

I propose that the most important thing you can do with a portion of your disposable income is give it to a worthwhile charity or your local place of worship. I wholeheartedly believe that when you give, not only do you and others benefit immediately but there is an unseen, eternal benefit as well.

This is the key, to unlocking those benefits.

Our biggest problem with giving is that we tend to see it the wrong way – we don’t understand it. When we donate money to a worthy cause or church, we tend to view it as a TRANSACTIONAL event – like buying a mocha latte at Starbucks or filling your tank with gas.

However, to God – our giving is a TRANSFORMING event. The fact is that the more you give to help others, the greater the change (transformation) that occurs in you. Because no matter how bad you think you've got it - there is someone near you, who's much worse off than you are. Also, this type of giving needs to be a year-round habit, not just isolated around the holidays. Whether you think you can or can't give, it's worth considering.

Giving is a core value in our family and we’re instilling that principle in our two daughters. Part 2 of this series offers a real example of the type of transformation alluded to above.

Author's Bio: 

Tor Constantino has more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, he's a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer. He just completed his first non-fiction book titled "A Question of Faith: a Simple Question Toward Ultimate Truth." He blogs daily regarding faith, family, finance and fitness at