It is so tempting not to tithe when it is a tight match at the end of the month. If you are like me, you are many times tempted to forgo your monthly tithe. Now, when I say “tithe” I am not talking about non-monetary giving, which is also important. I am talking about America’s first love: Money. The following are a few thoughts I use on myself to make sure I do not cheat God out of what is His.
1. That 10% is not mine. It is God’s money. Do I really want to steal from God?
2. When I place God first in my life, including first over my money, He will give me my daily bread. I guarantee that God NEVER fails. TRUE STORIES: In college I gave my tithe, even though A)it emptied 0ut my bank account and B) I had bills to pay. When I went to my college’s business office to explain I couldn’t pay their bill AGAIN, I discovered much to my shock that my bill was PAID IN FULL by an anonymous person.
Another story, things were a bit tight one month for my husband and I. I was SO tempted NOT to pay that month’s tithe checks, but I did it out of reason number one. I wondered how we would make ends meet. The next day, I received an unexpected refund from the hospital for the exact amount I needed to get us through to pay day.
In college my girlfriend and I hosted a benefit concert for a child care center in Ecuador. We needed just $127 to close the deal, when I walked into my bathroom and there on the mirror my roommate had written her tithe check for the month. The amount? $127.
3. Tithing keeps me grateful. I am reminded every time I write my tithe check, or grocery shop for the homeless shelter, how many blessings God has given me. It changes my perspective from “I wish I could make more” to “God has overly blessed me.”
5. Tithing reminds me how little God wants from me. 10%? That is it. He lets me keep 90%! He is more generous than the Federal Government. It is this generosity from God that makes me want to be generous as well.
The 10% is merely a percentage. It is our standard in our family. We take out 10% and give half of that to the Church and the other half to charities. When we receive pay bonuses, or the annual Permanent Fund Dividend, or what not, we will contribute more.
I have found that the more I give, the easier it is. I also have my daughter drop the tithe check in the basket at Mass and she loves it. She loves to feel included. I also make her tithe from her PFDs she receives, and any allowance she will earn in the future. It is a good way to teach our children how to be generous and not self-centered.