Tithing is down, even in the most evangelical churches. I’ve recently read about the tithe [10%], the gift [11% and more], and the sacrifice/painful giving [100%]. But I was wondering what you call under 10 percent – the tip? “Here you go God, it was a good week, so let me spot you a twenty!” Some weeks I think the waiters and hair stylists do better than God. The average giving in church is 3-5% and for good, or great service a waitress might get 15-20%.
Just some tid-bits I’ve been mulling over. Maybe the tip is motivated by guilt and the tithe is motivated by obedience. Also I heard a quote, “Whenever you know the purpose of something…it is less likely to be abused.” I think if we know that the tithe goes to pay for the churches mortgage or rent and lights and the pastors salary and the bishops salary and we appreciate those things, we have purpose. I believe the tithe and the gifts above and beyond the 10 percent are for the glory of the Kingdom and for redemption. I believe that if every giver had that as their purpose of giving, tithing would be up in the church.
Let me share with you some testimonies of tithing.
R. G. LeTourneau the inventor of earth moving machines reached a point of tithing 90% of his income. “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back to me, but God has a bigger shovel.”
Henry P. Crowell, couldn’t go to school because of tuberculosis. He became a business man and for forty years gave 60 to 70% of his income to God. He bought the run-down Quaker Mill at Ravanna, Ohio and made Quaker Oats a household name.
William Colgate [need I say more] gave 10% of his first dollar in soap sales to God. He kept increasing his tithe until he gave 50% to the Lord.
But I have to say that my motivation is not just from these persons from multi-million dollar businesses. It’s not about the amount of money one can give, but about the openness of our hearts to God. Here is one more story of tithing, may it bless your heart.
Soviet Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, author of Tortured for Christ, writes. While in prison, he saw fellow Soviet believers practice generous giving. “When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soap every day, we decided we would faithfully ‘tithe’ even that. Every tenth week we took the slice of bread and gave it to the weaker brethren as our ‘tithe’ to the Master.”
It reminds me of the widow and her two mites[pennies, if you will] that were given. Jesus was watching the giving and noting the amounts given. It wasn’t much. In fact to some it’s what we overlook on the ground. But to her and to Jesus it was more than a tithe, it was a sacrifice, because that was everything she had. Luke 21.1-4
It is true, you cannot out give God. But you can undercut the Kingdom with your tip. We have an opportunity to invest in the redemption of souls, ours included, for the coming Kingdom. What is that worth to you?