Quit tithing and be GENEROUS

Posted by Matt Lane on March 13th, 2011 filed in Christian Living, money

I’m serious. Stop checking it off the list that you gave your percentage. And if you ever hear someone say that God only wants 10% and you can have the rest, tell them that is a lie from the pit of hell. Yup, really.

You see, it is difficult to find a NT text that supports tithing. Giving yes. Being generous yes. Tithing the “10%”? Hard to find. I personally don’t find any. Okay so the pastors types will say “the tithe existed before the law”. On that basis so did stonings and sacrifices. But nobody says we should do those.

So the above might make a lot of people unhappy. But hear me out. If you are always looking to just meet a certain percentage so that you have achieved something, you might not be living a life of generosity. If your attitude is “I give to my church”, you might not be living a life of generosity. And being generous is a major theme in the New Testament. Some would go so far in saying that it is difficult to even be a Christian if you are not generous.

Let’s admit it, we Christians are pretty rich. Actually very rich. And if we all lived lives of generosity, your pastor might not ever have to ask for money again. If we all lived lives of generosity the child foster-care system might not have to exist. Orphans might be adopted in greater numbers. Those that lost their jobs might not fear how they are going to provide for their families because they would know that Christians would help them. Missionaries might not have to raise funds for years. New churches could be planted at unprecedented levels. And all this just scratches the surface.

The problem is that as we Christians make more money, our life-styles rise too. A bigger house, nicer cars, larger HDTVs. Yes we do really keep up with the Jones’. I’m guessing that if you walked in my house and I walked in yours, they would not look much different than our non-Christian neighbors.

C.S. Lewis says:

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.”

So give a percentage of your income away. I still do. And for sure give large chucks to your local church. But then give outside your local church too. Really, it’s okay. Just be strategic and purposeful with every dollar you give and every dollar you keep. All of them should reflect God’s love for you and your love for others.

Use percentages because they are helpful and good. But they are only numbers.

And being generous is not defined in numbers. It is a life-style. And it’s more than money.

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