10% again

i suppose the primary reason i started giving ten percent to the general budget of my church family was out of legalism.  can’t say i’m real proud of that, but it’s probably the truth.

i grew up in a church that always preached the “tithe” (more on that in a couple of days).  it was taught regularly and the inference was that god established it as a law in the old testament and jesus did nothing to abolish the old testament laws…so we should be expected to do at least as much as new testament disciples.  ten percent (the tithe) was the standard of excellence in discipleship!

hey.  it’s what i was taught and it was what i believed.  i come from an era that trusted authority and leadership in the church in a completely different way than we experience now.  i had a high respect for my parents and for the people who were in positions of influence…especially church influence…in my my life.  my parents modeled the giving of ten percent and taught me to do the same.  when i began to grow up, make money, get married, and live on my own, i followed their example.

now, honestly, i live such a completely different kind of life from my youth, it’s almost hard to remember.  my reasons for giving are much deeper, much stronger, much broader.  life is not as simple as it used to be.  i am not as simple as i used to be.  but frankly, the foundation is still there.  interesting…

it makes me think…not just about money, but about everything.  why is it so difficult to trust the judgment and direction of those older and wiser?  why is it so easy to dismiss the patterns and practices of our elders, when it comes to discipleship?  why do we trust our own impulses and logic when it comes to following jesus, instead of taking the baton from the previous leg of the relay and carefully pass it on to the future?

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3 thoughts on “10% again

  1. This has always been an interesting problem for me. At times I feel like I could give more than 10, but that’s due to life circumstances so I wonder where my heart is on it.

    This, of course, only came into play once I developed a habit of giving.

  2. I personally like the 10 percent marker as a starting point…and believe that unfortunately as we have chucked the concept of tithing out the window we have replaced it with self-centeredness; focusing on our own needs instead of letting God provide for us and through us to meet the needs of others.

    I know personally how sometimes it is difficult to see the numbers not match up, to think about not having the money to do “fun” stuff because we gave it way.

    I’m torn in this. It bothers me to hear people say they don’t have the money to give when I see them spending money right and left on things that for all intents and purposes are luxuries in their life. It bothers me when I start number crunching and reducing what we give because our income drops. I feel like I’m failing myself and others and not doing something right when it comes to God.

    It IS difficult to see this area of our lives as its ALL God’s and behave accordingly.

    It is difficult to decide between buying winter clothes for my kids or giving to the church. If I based what I give on my excess; I’d never give. It is difficult to take that leap of faith and just tell God what is needed and expect Him to provide it…and then to not get scared when needs are not being met.

    How do I balance the giving with the need?

    I could hold onto everything; but never be happy and would still have needs unmet….or I could give and be content, yet still have that fear and concern of needs not yet met.

    Mike – as to your question – I don’t trust the judgment and direction of those wiser alot of times because they don’t care about my personal situation and how their principles and the way they live might need to be tweaked to ensure that I am living the way God intended for me to live; not just emulating a person or the ideas and beliefs that God let work for them.

  3. I don’t trust the authority of the previous generation sometimes because I feel like they’ve failed me. I feel like I’ve been lied to and led astray on some issues. But I also think that I’d be throwing out the baby with the bathwater if I failed to at least listen to and seriously consider those wiser and older than I.

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