That pastor only wants my money!

For many, especially new church-goers, the idea of tithing is uncomfortable. Scripture calls us to give back 10{460a05741454e6ac9b6c5260f0917ccdb6f72f2e4f6ff1b7d94317b392275d0e} of all we bring in. There are several places in scripture where the tithe is mentioned. In the book of Leviticus, we see it introduced as God’s law:

“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”  – Leviticus 27:30-34

But seeing it written still doesn’t make it sound all that great, does it? Many churches will also remind you of the line in 2 Corinthians, which tells us God loves a cheerful giver. However, more often, it’s displayed on a screen, church newsletter, or brochure with a graphic.

“Seriously?” I used to think. “Great.  So now on top of not wanting to throw more than 20 bucks in the plate/basket/bag/etc. when it passes by, God’s not going to love me if I don’t do this with a smile on my face?”  When I first started going to church, I loathed the idea of tithing. I, along with a lot of others, have come up with so many excuses as to why we can’t and/or won’t tithe. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • The pastor only wants it so he can buy a new car
  • I have too many bills and I don’t have enough to give a tenth of my salary
  • I can’t tithe now because what if something breaks/needs to be repaired or replaced?
  • I just don’t make enough money right now; I’ll tithe when I start making more
  • I don’t have enough money to pay the bills as it is, so how could I give that much away?
  • I disagree with something the pastor said in his sermon about three months ago, and I just can’t financially support the church because of that.
faith-giving
To increase your faith, increase your giving.

There are so many excuses that we make so we can justify not tithing. We make our offering sound like something bad, as if it’s going to crush us if we don’t keep the money for ourselves. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: God doesn’t care about those excuses, and you shouldn’t either. God isn’t calling you to financially support the ideas of the pastor, and He’s not asking you to make yourself poor for the sake of the church. But He is asking you to trust him – not only with your spiritual, emotional and physical health, but with your financial health as well.

In most churches, the pastor isn’t concerned about making you tithe to get a raise (there are exceptions, but by and large most church pastors have a heart to see you serve God, trust God, and develop a relationship with God). The fact is this: God will still be able to work without you. He doesn’t need your ten percent to keep the lights on, pay for nursery supplies or do an outreach event. But what He wants is your faithfulness. And here’s the thing:  Wal-Mart wants your money. Amazon Prime wants your money. The bar wants your money.  God and your pastor just want you to be faithful. He’s not concerned about how much money you make, but the heart in which you give:

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on’.”  – Mark 12:41-44

Listen. I understand the thought of a full ten percent is scary. So, why not start with something smaller. Begin with 5, 3, or maybe even 1 percent. When you realize how God blesses you in that 1{460a05741454e6ac9b6c5260f0917ccdb6f72f2e4f6ff1b7d94317b392275d0e}, move to 2 or 3{460a05741454e6ac9b6c5260f0917ccdb6f72f2e4f6ff1b7d94317b392275d0e}. Then go up to 5, 6, 7, and so on. Soon, you’ll understand the heart of truly being a cheerful giver.

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