A devotional shared with us by Elizabeth Fairchild, FUMC Allen Financial & Membership Secretary
As I sit at my desk adding financial gifts and pledges, I pray blessings on the people that have given and I ponder many questions:
- Why do people give?
- Why do some people give so much?
- Why do some people give so little?
- Why do some people give so much with so little?
- Why do some people give so little with so much?
- Why do some people not give at all?
- Why do I give?
Maybe people are giving somewhere else. Maybe they are at a certain stage in life. Grade school students and middle school students may give later in high school when they have a part-time job. High school students and college students may give later when they have graduated and landed a real job. Younger adults may give later when their kids are grown and out of the house. Older adults may give after the house is paid off. Senior adults may give when they feel they can afford to tap into the nest egg.
Are we consumers or participants? Maybe I can ask this in a different way, much like JFK asked us many years ago: “Ask not what the church can do for you, but ask what can I do for the church?”
In looking for answers, I found an article by Matt Tullos, “16 Reasons to Tithe.” You are invited to click the link to read the full text, but below is an overview:
- It’s worship. Everybody should have an opportunity to give because giving is true worship.
- It’s a promise. The Lord says. “If you’ll be faithful in this area of obedience, I promise you that I’ll take care of everything you’re going to need. Trust me in this. You cannot out-give Me.”
- It’s a teacher. If you want to teach your kids the best way to handle money and to be financially responsible, teach them about the tithe.
- It’s a blessing. Once you begin the journey of generosity and tithing God will carry you through and enrich your life far beyond any money that you hold on to.
- It’s a provision. When you tithe, you’re taking care of the facilities of your church, the minster(s), and their families.
- It’s a test. Throughout scripture, God is continually testing those who follow him. God knows that money is a strong and effective indicator of the condition of your heart.
- It’s an investment. So much of the resources we spend are spent on things that will be broken, consumed, experienced, expired, and cast aside. The investment of the tithe is sure.
- It’s eternal. None of us will bring our cars, our homes, our 401ks, our boats, our jewels, or our food into Heaven, but our tithe is different. We are investing in a kingdom that is built to last FOREVER.
- It’s a miracle. When you open yourself up to giving through the tithe, you get a glimpse into the supernatural. Ask the tither if supernatural provision has ever happened in their years of giving, and inevitable the answer is, “YES.”
- It’s tax-deductible. Sorry, but the accountant in me had to point out this minor little benefit!
- It’s a faith builder. Tithing is an illogical risk, but it strengthens your faith muscles. Once you begin to trust your money to God, you’ll find it easier to trust him with everything else in your life.
- It’s a joy. There’s a certain deep feeling of bliss that comes from giving with no regard for receiving.
- It’s unifying. Tithing can unify believers in a church. Tithing believers are believers that say to God and their church family, “I’m all in.”
- It’s contagious. Once tithers experience God in giving, we want to share with others about the grace and provision God has provided us.
- It’s a greed-slayer. One of the most debilitating characteristics of unhappy people is greed. Like generosity, greed can go viral. And when we feed the greed, it spills over into every area of our lives.
- It’s biblical. We give because it’s a biblical principle and promise.