What Tithing is Really About
“So if I gave you $10,000, you would give a thousand of it to your church?”
The car was stuffy and we were lost. The air was stuck right in the middle of the dial. Not hot. Not cold. Another shortcut gone bad.
He thought I was crazy. Really crazy.
So I explained tithing. I told him how the word itself means ten percent. How I believe the Bible to be true. Even the money parts.
But the Catholic church a few towns over had burned him. Spent his money on a fancy renovation and marble counter tops. Each upgrade building the resentment.
Now he would never trust the church with his money. He would give whatever he happened to have in his pocket. Something or nothing. It no longer mattered.
“Me? I just give what I can. That’s all I feel like I need to do,” he said.
And my heart broke.
My heart broke for each dollar that could have been spent on orphans and widows. Each dollar that had the power to transform their hearts and his.
I haven’t experienced this. I see where my tithe goes, and it only makes me want to keep giving.
Even if some money ended up in a questionable spot (assuming it wasn’t chronic), is that what it’s really about? That’s what we make it out to be. Something to measure. Something to compare. Waiting for a misspent dollar so we can pounce and close up our wallets for good.
But like everything else, Jesus points to the heart instead. It’s not about giving money to a building. It’s about trusting a Savior with your heart.
So I think about what’s happened in my life as a result of that trust. How He provides when the numbers don’t add up. How things happen at just the right time. How it broke down so many other barriers in my life when I saw I could trust Him.
And I long for my friend to know the same. I long for the brokenness in his heart to be mended. For all the scars left by man, masquerading as if they were from God, to be healed.
“Oh, here we go.” We weren’t lost anymore. We took a left onto a familiar road. The silence in the air heavy and odd.
He thought he knew where he was going now, but the pain in my heart told me how lost he really was.
And I tell myself never to forget the trust it takes to tithe. The grasp you have to loosen on everything you think you’ve earned. The faith you have to have to give.
Photo cc on Flickr.