What Should I Give to the Church?
What should I give? How much is enough? Is it the tithe, ten percent of our income? Is the ten percent before taxes or after? The New Testament doesn’t mention the tithe, but it gives us some role models. Should we be like Zacchaeus and give away half of all we have? Or are we called to be like the widow who gave all she had or the early Christians who held everything in common, giving to each as he or she had need? And finally, is “How much should I give?” the wrong question? Should it be “How much will I keep for myself”?
It is good for us to wrestle with these questions at least annually. Faith and our possessions are intricately related. Our financial discipleship journey, individually and corporately, is lifelong. Our giving is a way to grow in faith. Jesus put it this way: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Notice that he reverses the usual order of things. Ordinarily, we think of giving to those things that mean a lot to us. Jesus says, in essence, “Give to something and it will begin to mean more and more to you.” If you want to care more about the kind of car you drive, buy an expensive one. If you want to care more about property values, remodel your house. But if you want to grow in your faith, bring an offering to God. Wherever your money goes, your heart will follow. In the end, generous giving is about our relationship with God. It helps define where we are and where we are going in our walk of faith. Giving has a way of transforming the way we see the world around us, but especially it transforms our hearts and souls.