This Sunday my incredible pastor Crawford Loritts will beÂ speaking on tithing.Â For those of you unfamiliar with the term, tithing is giving 10% ofÂ the pre-tax money from your paycheckÂ to your local church.
Now some of the readers of this site enjoy debating biblical principles but this is not the forum for if tithing is Old Testament or New Testament or what if we just give the money somewhere?
The purpose of this post is to ask the straightforward question -Â In today’s volatile economic environment, is restructuring your life soÂ you can give 10% of your hard-earned money to the church really worth it?Â Is there a payoff?Â Certainly I could make better use of the money somewhere else?
As a young child, my mom gave me a quarter each Sunday to put in the offering plate.Â Unbeknownst to any of us, what this didÂ was develop a pattern of behaviorÂ resulting in generosity.Â Â As aÂ 14-year-old, I received my first paycheckÂ for $64.08.Â I thought I was the richest man in the world!Â That Sunday, I gave $6.41 to Acworth United Methodist Church and still had $57.67 left over.Â I never missed my tithe and I’ve been giving ever since.
TheÂ 10% investment I’ve madeÂ in my local church the past 31 years is the best investment I’ve ever made!Â Â I know those funds have gone to honorable work that has allowed many people I haveÂ loved to help hurting people.Â These same people, people likeÂ Jim Lowery, Bob Chastain, Mark Marshall, Randy Bennett, Ike Reighard,Â ToddÂ Cullen, Mike Linch, Randy Elster,Â C.A. Phillips, and now Crawford Loritts, Shane Freeman, Tim Beard, Richard Hopkins, and Joe Rice have blessed my familyÂ in countless ways.Â Sometimes when I was the one hurting.
The interesting thing about giving 10% to God is how He has stretched the remaining 90%.Â My cars have lasted longer.Â We’ve had lower medical costs.Â Appliances have not broken.Â Costly repairs were somehow not as expensive as they could have been.Â And God has allowed me to work for some wonderfully generous people and be part of a very generous family.
Have I missed the money as an adult – Yes.Â Â Has it been sometimes very difficultÂ to write that check – Yes.Â Would I do it the same way if I could do it all over again – Without A Doubt!!!
God makes several promises to those who tithe in Malachi 3:10-13.Â He hasÂ kept His word to me and more.
It is aÂ privilege toÂ give myÂ hard-earned moneyÂ to my churchÂ AND other ministries as well.Â
- I like how I feel when IÂ give.Â
- I like what God does with my money.Â
- I like that it helps people.Â
- I like that it changes lives.Â
- I like making a difference.Â
- I likeÂ not being selfish.Â
- I like trusting God and watching Him come through.Â
- I like knowing my daughter is watching how we handle our money.
It is definitely counter-culture, but in today’s unstable economic and job markets, I can’t think of a more astute financial decisionÂ than to give aÂ minimum ofÂ 10% of my resources to my local church.
If you’re not a tither, I can’t recommend enough that you start this weekend.Â And then watch what God does with the remaining 90%.
Simple questions for all readers of this post – How hasÂ tithing to your local church affected your life?Â And if you don’t tithe, please share why youÂ have chosen not to leverage your financial resources in thatÂ manner?Â All opinions are welcome.Â Â Â
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