Generosity or Overspending?

Photo: sanja gjenero

Photo: sanja gjenero Dave,

I’ve heard you talk about the importance of giving using the phrase “outrageous generosity.” But at what point does outrageous generosity become foolish overspending?


Dear Josiah,

This is a good question. Your first mandate is to take care of your own household. The Bible says if you don’t do this, you’re worse than an unbeliever. So start with your own family. Are you able to take care of the basic lifestyle and needs of your family? The pursuit of giving shouldn’t interrupt the food on your own family’s table.

The Bible also says in the house of the wise there are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. You need to be saving, too, in order to be biblically wise. If you spend everything you make, or, for that matter, if you gave away everything you make on an ongoing basis, it would be foolish.

There are individual times where people may be called to give in an extreme way, but I’m talking about a pattern of living or way of life over an extended period of time. If you just say you’re going to give away your whole income and let the government support you at the expense of your family, that’s not biblical. And it’s not a wise way to live your life.


Dave Ramsey* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digital outlets. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at

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