Grab a cup of coffee or tea, we are going to have a little chat about money… (no I am not going to ask you for any, lol)
Let’s face it, we suck at giving. We are NOT a generous generation and although we may not think that we are cheating God – most of the time that is exactly what we are doing. We hold onto our money and our things with tightly clasped, sweaty fists like a child who doesn’t want to give up his treat.
According to recent studies only about 17% of Christians actually tithe anything. I think the real numbers are much lower because people who give a small percentage here and there or when they remember would probably say that yes they do tithe even though they don’t really if we think of tithing as it is Biblically defined as giving at least 10% from the top. (according to my husband that means off of your gross salary, not your net salary – God first, then tax then everything else.)
Approximately 1 out of every 10 people who actually regularly attend churches actually give to them, and yet (often) all 10 of those people want more from their churches. We want our churches to feed the hungry, to support missionaries, to reach out locally and globally with the Gospel, we want more programs and not just more but better with cooler decor and more high tech stuff.
Our lack of generosity is not without consequences, some churches end up closing their doors, missionaries are having to leave the field or aren’t aren’t able to make it there despite willingness, the needy in most neighbourhoods are often not being taken care of as they should and the list goes on and on.
So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.
- Exodus 36:6-7
Can you imagine if this were true for us? If we all really did give the way we are asked to? I have read statistics (like in this article) that suggest that if we all gave global hunger would end, global water and sanitation problems would be completely solved, ALL overseas missions would be fully funded, illiteracy would be completely solved in only 5 years, TONS would be left over for all of additional ministries… (see the link for exact numbers) All of those things, not just one. I don’t know about you but that blows my mind.
I realize that giving isn’t always easy, we (my family) are very far from wealthy (in our culture’s standards only) We have lots of bills, gas and hydro cost an arm and a leg, then we have to pay to heat the house in the winter, to actually have a house and pay for food and pay for clothes and all those other boring necessities like toilet paper. Life isn’t cheap and 10% is a lot, but guess what? God is a big God and no one ever went broke because they tithed – in fact it usually seems like the more we give the more we receive. (and according the James MacDonald the least of those gifts is more money)
It is an awesome privilege to be able to give part of what we earn to God. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Wow! (if your mind isn’t blown yet stop and think about it some more) Not only is it an awesome privilege but it deepens our relationship with God because it teaches us to rely on Him (if our finances are not high and we are still giving to Him first), it is obeying Him, and it is putting Him first in an area that so many of us make idols. We have to stop thinking of giving and a chore and start thinking of it as it is – a privilege!
I know this isn’t a comfortable talk to have, most of us don’t really love talking about money which is maybe why so many pastors are hesitant to preach about it, but something has to change and it starts with me and with you.
Thanks for stickin with me, I know this one was a big long.
PS Thanks Jinni for posting this verse on Facebook and reminding me about my conversations about it with Caleb.