A few weeks ago Handsome and I were having a serious conversation about the meaning of life, etc. He told me that he had been thinking a lot about the practice of tithing and giving to the church and reading the proof texts and he really believed that God was asking him (us) to consider if we’re giving sacrificially.
We have always tithed. It’s actually one of the serious questions that I asked Handsome when we were getting to know each other, before we were engaged. I grew up learning that tithing is just something that a Christian does. I don’t believe I was legalistic about it, but I knew that everything we had was God’s so it’s only right that we give back to Him what he asks.
In recent years we have developed a part of our budget, a small part, that is surplus to our tithe which for lack of a better term is a benevolent fund. It is money that we give when we see a need.
But as Handsome has been reading God’s Word to find out His take on the whole giving thing, he keeps coming up with a percentage that’s much greater than 10%. The New Testament talks a lot about believers selling everything they had and giving it to the church to be used for ministry to the people.
As I mentioned yesterday, these are unsettled times. But when God asks us to do something, we have to do it. So we’re going to be looking at our budget and seeing where we can shave things off.
As I reread this before posting, I’m telling myself - seeing where we can shave things off?? Giving sacrificially isn’t just about shaving off a few dollars from the entertainment budget. Giving sacrificially is doing without something that we might actually need (need being a relative term) in order to give it to God, knowing that He will provide all of our true needs. But even now I’m thinking - but hey wait. Lots of Christians in the world are hungry because they don’t have enough to eat. Lots of Christians are homeless for various reasons. So I suppose that if we pray and hear God telling us to give xxx amount of dollars and we know that it means we won’t have the money to do xyz, then we will just depend on God.
I don’t believe He’s telling us to be irresponsible and not pay our bills, but I have a feeling that those new shoes I’ve been wanting to get are definitely not going to make the cut. And swim lessons for the kids? Probably not. At least not at the fancy indoor pool. Will we go out for our anniversary in a few weeks? I doubt it. Will we survive? Of course.
Obedience is always best.