Just to clarify my previous entry, I am fully aware that I am under no “obligation” to give a specific percentage of my income to the Church, as that was Mosaic law, which Jesus fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17) But let me tell you what I do know: I want my both my finances and my personal life to be in order, and it would be foolish of me to believe that I could achieve such a task without putting my trust in the Lord and being open to His will.
Here’s what the New Testament has to say about how Christians should give:
“On the first day of the week each of you should set aside whatever he can afford” (1 Corinthians 16:2)
“So I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for your promised gift, so that in this way it might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as an exaction. Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.”(2 Corinthians 9:5-8)
God doesn’t demand a fixed amount of money (or time) from us; He wants us to give from the heart. He wants us to give back to Him a share of what He has given to us. If 10% was the model for giving God provided His people under Mosaic law, I believe it to be an acceptable gift even now. I further believe 10% to be especially acceptable if it requires stretching and trusting the Lord to provide. (Luke 21: 1-4)
Since beginning our monetary tithe (which undoubtedly can be a stretch) God has done amazing things with our financial situation. Somehow, the remaining 90% of our income goes so much further than the full 100% ever did. That’s why I’m so excited about my “tithing time” epiphany. How much more will I accomplish in my day for my family and for the Lord when I am “sowing my time bountifully?”
It definitely gives me a lot to think about. As I begin offering a tithe of my time to the Lord, it may be difficult to fill that time. But once I get going, I suspect I will find myself desiring even more time with the Lord. I may even honestly find myself “praying without ceasing” in a much more meaningful way than the current continuous dialog I have in my head that is often directed at the Lord. Pray for me as I set out on this journey!