Growing up as a catholic going to huge buildings for holiday mass services or weddings and only using a bible as a nightstand decoration I always considered the idea of “offerings” and “tithes” as some sort of scam. I remember being a teenager when most of the priest sex abuse allegations became daily news and from then on out never thought much about the idea of religion until my late twenties. Sure I got married in the church, got the kids baptized in the church but this was all done more as a ritual to appease the older generations in my family, than as a meaningful event between me and God.
I have a vivid memory not more than a couple years ago of myself talking to a close friend of mine about tithing while sitting in adjacent recycling bins collecting coupons (I know what a subject to be disgusting between dumpsters, right?) anyways, I kept saying “I just don’t understand why churches are always asking for money, for what? To build more huge churches, or pay legal fees for all these pedophiles they have as priests! I liked the Christian shows on TV until I noticed all they do is ask for money!”.
That was the first day I started to understand tithing. My friend was brought up in a born again Christian family, she didn’t tithe but her mother did so she began to explain that it’s all about faith. God gives it to you, so if you give it back to him willingly and with faith, he will always take care of you and bless you back.
After that night I started to understand it, but never truly believed in it, that is until I myself started building my own faith. I found an awesome church, a nondenominational Christian church. It wasn’t a huge cathedral building with gold ceilings. It was in a corporate office building with a large room with a simple cross and a stage where they held two services every Sunday and a group of classrooms in the back for all the children’s Sunday school classes. It was simple but by far much more beautiful than any of the churches I had been to in my life. The people where calm and loving, you just felt comfort walking in the door.
From that first Sunday service, my family has been going every week. The pastor speaks in a way that I can understand what he is saying, I can see it all in my bible, and see that Gods word is real and it has changed my life. This is when I felt a strong calling to tithe, and I listened! I feel blessed that God has put me in a place where my tithes have helped build schools in Kenya, and feed orphans in Haiti. I give back what God has blessed me with, without a second thought because I see every week how amazing he is in every way.
Of course at first, knowing we live on a tight income with me being disabled and having three little ones with autism, it was kind of scary but I listened to God and he has taken care of me ever sense. I now write a check once a month with 10% of any income to my church as my tithe, then the rest of the month give whatever cash I have on hand in the collection plate as an offering. I can honestly say that from day one I have not once had to worry about that money missing, God always keeps his word and blesses us back.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure,pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.