To Tithe or Not to Tithe

This is a subject that I have always been a bit confused on. I am a cradle Catholic, and I had never even heard the term until I got to college and had some Evangelical friends who told me about the practice. 10%!? Gosh, I thought, that seems rather steep and so I had never disciplined myself to the practice. This year, I hope to make the jump, for several reasons, but not the least of which is that I don't want to do it.

Realizing that I held this attitude was eye-opening. I don't like for anything to have that kind of control over me, especially not money! I did some research on the topic and talked to some friends and wanted to share a bit of the info I found:

a) Tithing means to give of a person's gross income. The tithe, however, is only a barometer, guideline, or estimating level for one's sacrificial giving. Some can and should offer more than the recommended amount of their tithe; others may return less than that percentage.

b) If the amount of the suggested tithe is legitimately too much for one's current budget, a member may begin with a lower percentage that will be both sacrificial and yet possible. Then the member may gradually raise the level of giving until the full suggested amount is reached. In this way brothers and sisters and families are making a decision for the Lord first and only afterward considering their own needs and wants.

c) Families should involve their children in tithing by teaching them through word and by example the priority of returning to God a portion of the blessing He has given us. Children may do this through tithing their allowances or income from part-time jobs.

d) Those faithful Christians who tithe report how remarkably their material needs have been met. Moreover, they will cite these blessings as even greater, spiritual rewards:

1) a sense of serenity and satisfaction that comes from generosity;

2) an awareness that God comes first, even in decisions about money;

3) a recognition that one has eliminated the practice of making contributions that are mere leftovers or contributions of habit;

4) a deep sense of satisfaction in the progress made by the Order due to the amount of tithing by its members;

5) an ability to distinguish between wants and needs;

6) a deeper consciousness of society's materialism and consumerism;

7) A keener appreciation of the world's poor and how we should and can alleviate their pain and poverty;

8) a quiet confidence in the Lord's protective care.

For further reading, click here, the site where this information was taken from.

Now if I could only get that "cheerful giver" part down pat...All feedback is surely welcome, especially if this is something you have considered before.