Why I Tithe

Because I didn’t grow up “in the church,” I never really knew about tithing until I joined my first church family while in graduate school.  My decision to tithe was one I made as an adult and I have observed the changes in my character that have occurred concurrently with becoming a cheerful giver.  There is plenty of great content available about why one should tithe and how generosity is a mark of having been transformed by the Gospel, but that’s not what I’m discussing here.  I don’t want to cover why someone should tithe/give, but rather give my personal motivations for tithing and giving generously.

 

 

1.  I want to please God, and He has made this method very clear.

 

We are called to be like Christ – not only is that a tall order, it is a totally unachievable one!  There are very few areas where the Bible is so clear about any particular method of pleasing and serving God, but giving is one of them.  The standard from the Old Testament was to give the tithe, or the first ten percent of one’s income.  Jesus takes us beyond that OT standard to giving generously above the tithe.  These are good benchmarks for a Type A rule-follower like me.  We give the first 10% of our income as a minimum and strive to give as we see needs beyond that level.

 

2.  I don’t want money to be an idol.

 

Early on in my walk with Christ I identified two idols in my life (desires that compete with God for my worship).  The first was my relationship with my boyfriend (now husband) and the second was money.  I desire security and I can easily slip into thinking that my security comes from money instead of from God.  By giving away money, I remind myself that it is not even in the same category as God in importance and I demonstrate my belief that God will provide for me.

 

3.  I believe in the efficacy of my church.

 

The great part of the money we give away goes to or through our local church.  I believe that my church is effective in spreading the Gospel and transforming our city and, to a lesser extent, the world.  It also ministers to and develops Christians, serves the underprivileged in our community, and donates money to evangelism and relief abroad.  I am happy to give money toward this mission because I trust the vehicle.

 

4.  I want to help people less fortunate than myself.

 

I have been incredibly blessed with a wonderful family, stellar educational opportunities, good health, and a steady income.  I want to use my resources to bless others, particularly the poor.  Our giving to our church does that to some extent, but we also choose other community partners to support as we become aware of them or are asked.  It’s important to also consider generosity of time and non-material goods in addition to money.  This may seem like a weird example, but after I became a Christian I started donating blood regularly.  I literally give of my body and I know that my sacrifice is helping to save the life of another person.

 

Giving cements in my mind that my money is not mine but belongs to God, and that my charge is to be a faithful steward.

 

Why and to whom do you give?  What keeps you from giving?  Do you put any emphasis on giving anything other than money?

 

photo by More Good Foundation

 

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3 Responses to "Why I Tithe"

  1. […] Giving to our church is something we love doing because we have bought in to the mission of our church (‘Love God. Love Each Other. Love Our World.’) and we have witnessed how the church has been effective in carrying out its mission.  So a campaign like this one that is largely financially focused does not bother or offend us as it might others (aside from that it is sort of taking time away from more intensive Bible Study on other subjects).  I can imagine that addressing the topic of giving (and particularly encouraging parishioners to give more) can be very awkward for the preaching pastor and leadership, but I really like how our church has handled it in the past few years. […]

  2. […] your net income – rent, savings, debt (consider deferring student loans if possible), insurance, giving, phone, and internet.  Add ‘em up!  These expenses comprise most of your base spending every […]

  3. […] Our giving: For this figure I used our current monthly giving to our church and the missionary we support, the amount we set aside in our charitable giving targeted savings […]

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