We’ve heard the sermon before.
It usually follows the same line of thought; uses the same Bible verses; evokes the same uneasy feeling.
And if you think having someone ask you for money is uncomfortable, try being on the other side. When’s the last time you asked someone for money? Yeah, not fun.
The whole idea of pastors asking for money seems… Corrupt, shady, typical.
Maybe it’s because we’ve been jaded by the scandals of televangelists. The gold rings and (sometimes) teeth. We’re wary of people in positions of power, especially those who can twist the word of God to their benefit. Pastors are first on the list of people not to trust.
Maybe we simply haven’t been taught the responsibility and joy (!) in giving to a local church. We don’t realize that everything, including the air in our lungs, is a present from God. We don’t know that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21); that our hearts follow our actions; that giving God’s church your time and money increases your commitment to and love for her.
Maybe it’s because we haven’t gotten what we wanted out of church. We wait until the church or pastor is doing something that we believe is worthy of our money. That’s a piercing statement, for sure.
Maybe we don’t see the binding power money already has over us. It’s not freeing to be driven by the promise of riches. How many of us compulsively bought a Power-Ball ticket last week?
It’s not the ticket, though, it’s the allure. It’s the dream of winning. That, in its basic sense, is worship.
Tithing was brought to my attention again this week by a study that says Christians who tithe have healthier finances than those who don’t tithe.
Now, I’ve heard friends tell me the typical God/tithing story in the past.
“Our needs were met after we started tithing,” Or, “We were blessed with a job and a car after we reached ten percent.” Yadda, yadda, yadda.
I’m happy for them, truly. Personally, I could say similar things as a way to entice people to give, but the things that I have received do not compare in satisfaction to the gift of tithing itself.
For me, the very act of giving to NorthCreek Church is like giving money to pay for a Grandfather’s surgery. It’s like helping fund a campaign to find a missing girl. It’s like picking up an opponent who twisted his ankle in a race and helping him cross the finish line.
Giving to NorthCreek is like helping it (baptize five people) to the glory of God and His Kingdom.
I have come to love giving because of the partnership I have in the work of the church.
I invite you to join me in the joy of tithing!! It took Mandy and me a year or so to adjust our finances (and spending habits) to tithe. Strive to tithe!
But beware: The more you see God working, the more you will want to give.