It is very difficult to talk about tithing, because it can include much controversy as well as discomfort. A discussion about tithing among a diverse group of people can bring with it various feelings such as guilt, confusion, helplessness, anger, frustration, and many other emotions. It´s sad, because tithing was never meant to be such a divisive topic. Rather, tithing is meant to help us feel peace and contentment. I know, I know… some may have rolled their eyes when hearing that tithing is supposed to help you feel at peace. Giving away money in your bank account sounds like it should make you feel just the opposite, because you rely heavily on the money that you make. I am no theologian, so I am not meaning to come across like I have it all together, but tithing is a personal journey for all of us, and so Mary Lou and I both find it to be something that we should all consider when trying to better understand how to take better control of our finances.
The two questions that typically arise when discussing tithing are: Why? and How Much? Again, neither Mary Lou nor I were seminary students, so as far as how much money you should tithe, I would talk to your pastor or mentor, depending on your preference. But as far as why tithe, we would like to share with you some reasons why tithing is crucial for financial well-being.
- Your willingness or unwillingness to tithe reveals whether you are in control of your money, or vice versa.
In an earlier blog, we talked about how if we don´t take the time to budget our finances, we have less control over how we spend our money. The same is true for tithing. Not making the decision to give your money prevents you from using your money for a greater good. One of the financial goals that all of us should have is to be wise with our money so that we may also be a blessing to others. It´s difficult to spare money, much less tithe, if we did not first make the decision to budget out an amount to give. If an opportunity arises where we can be a blessing to someone, but spent a little more than we thought we would have prior, we may not be able to bless others as much as we would like to. If we don´t plan our giving/tithing, the money will go as freely as it wants. So take the time to plan your giving/tithing and watch how your money can be used for a greater purpose.
2. Your willingness or unwillingness to tithe reveals what you put your trust in.
All of us rely heavily on our money, which is not a bad thing. However, it can become a bad thing if our reliance on our money is stronger than our reliance on God. A strong point of tithing is to remind us that money is not the ultimate goal. It´s a good goal, but money will ultimately leave you empty-handed if it is all you are after. Rather, tithing points us to or provider, and reminds us that we are at the mercy of God and should see the money we have as a blessing rather than a right.
3. Your willingness or unwillingness to tithe is a reminder of who the money belongs to.
For those who believe in God and attend church, we´ve heard it said that the money you have is not yours, but God´s. This is true, but it´s not meant to leave us feeling broke, but rather empowered, yet humbled. Every time we tithe, it is a reminder that the money in our pockets is a blessing, and should be seen as a resource for thanksgiving and fellowship, rather than an object for selfish gratification and comfort. How we view our money truly does show how we view ourselves compared to God.
We hope you found this encouraging rather than discouraging, because all of us are still learning when it comes to handling our money as wise as possible. So if you feel like you could be doing better with your money, don´t sweat. We´ve all been there and His mercies are new each morning. Take the time to ask a pastor or mentor of yours to talk about why tithing and giving can mean so much more. It will be wealth worth your time.