Geeks For Jesus Christ from a tech perspective

August 11, 2008

Tithing

Filed under: Uncategorized — gmack @ 11:08 pm

Lately I’ve been asked about why tithing is important and I think I’m in a good place to answer that since I’m not a pastor and since I have a well paying job I don’t need donations to support myself.

When I was younger I used to do what so many modern Christians do: just grab some loose change from my pocket and throw that in the offering basket.  In retrospect that’s pretty much how most people treat beggars the street so the comparison doesn’t make me feel all that good about the way I used to handle things.  Thanks to a lot of work on God’s part I’ve improved since then.

Tithing was originally a command by God in order to provide for the Levites who were entrusted with the full time care of the ministry needs of the Israelites and the temple.  They were not given farms of their own to provide for themselves and were completely dependent on the rest of the nation of Israel to provide for their day-to-day needs.

The logic behind tithing comes in two parts:

  1. It provides for God’s  ministries.  Pastoral work is a full time job for any decent sized church and the pastor will not have time to handle the churches needs and still support himself with a job.  There are also other expenses such as paper, rent or mortgage, electricity, cost of outreach programs etc.  You may think your contribution is too little to matter but it isn’t.  A group of poor people giving 10% can easily add up to a lot.  At a church I used to go to I calculated that  if 600 attendees had an average yearly wage of $12 000 and they all gave 10% ($1200) a year the church would have doubled it’s income.  The additional income would have been enough to pay off the mortgage faster, get the new roof the building needed and still have enough left over for the soup kitchen they wanted to open.
  2. What’s most important to your average person? Money! What is supposed to be the most important thing in every Christian’s life?  God.  Tithing is the act of placing God first in our finances.

How important do I think tithing is?  For a couple of years I absolutely couldn’t find work and had no real income to speak of.  Yet somehow when money needed to be there it would just appear from an unexpected source such as random calls from family, one time out of the blue contracts, winning one of those survey draws and more.  Every month I would find myself in a state of panic before even setting aside God’s ten percent yet every month all my bills got paid.  In the middle of this someone asked me if I can afford to tithe. My reply was simple, “I can’t afford not to tithe”.

Like any spiritual discipline tithing takes practice.  I find that by putting the money aside as soon as I get my check, it bothers me less. I also find that it helps to remind myself of the reasons I tithe in the first place.

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