Can You Gauge a Heart by A Checkbook?

check book with heartMany believe that giving is a sign of your heart. The more you give, the more it reflects your willingness to sacrifice more for God. But the problem is that there have been plenty of benevolent people who aren’t in the right place with God. Granted, a good hearted person will always be a giving person, but does giving mean they have a good heart?

I’ve never seen someone who gave of their time and of themselves and were not close to God. Many of us have heard the phrase that if you want to see someone’s relationship with God, just take a look at their checkbook. I think they’ve got it all wrong. Because i believe that if you want to gauge someone’s relationship with God look at their calendar.

As believers, i think we have this infatuation with money because the church is always asking for it. We automatically assume that it’s the most valuable asset in transforming the Church. I’m starting to think that money is the worst asset we use to advance God’s kingdom. If we think about all the moments that Jesus warned about money, we get this impression that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and yet, once money reaches an offering plate somehow it becomes exorcised of its potential evil. In my mind i’m envisioning a picture of Jesus’ miracle transforming water into precious wine as it is being poured out. Wherein money miraculously transforms it’s bad qualities into good qualities as it’s being poured in the offering. I know, it’s a head-scratcher.

if it’s hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, then how can a rich church find it easy to do the work of the kingdom of heaven? Can a rich church be a strange anomaly? I’m not trying to preach against riches, or say that if you or your church has money then you are evil. That’s not it. What i’m trying to explain is how our time is the most valuable asset for the Church and it’s possible that money may be the worst (although necessary) asset.

What Makes Time More Valuable Than Money?

There are a few characteristics of time that make it more valuable than money.

1. Renewability

Time is not renewable, although with money, we can always make more of that. Some give money out of guilt or peer pressure and this can be the case for time as well, but it is only money that is given because they have nothing else to do with it or because it is a tax deduction. Donating time because you have nothing else to do is almost never a reason someone donates it, and technically, it’s not a tax deduction. I personally find it hard to give my time. I have a business, 2 young children, and a wife that i love to spend my time with; so i find it hard to take time away from those things in order to give to others. Once i give my time on a Saturday to help someone, i have lost that precious time of family memories or relaxation and i can’t get it back. Time is my ‘love language’ as well, so this may also be another reason why this subject hits close to me.

2. Equality

One thing that also makes time so valuable is it’s equality. Everyone has 24 hours a day to spend without the ability to earn any more. There’s no poverty level or upper class. There’s no welfare handouts or “one-percenters” to complain about either.  Sure, some of us have fuller plates than others; and i’m sure you’re thinking that you’re one of them right now. Many people can say that this person has more money than me, so they can give; but no one can actually make that statement in regards to time. I don’t care how busy someone can be, you don’t have less or more time than someone who works 60 hours a week as a single parent or if you are someone who is retired at 60.

3. Longevity

Another trait of time is that you can’t tell when your time is going to run out. Your life could be over while you are reading this, or it could be over in 50 years. We all know the statement that life is but a vapor. For some, it may not even be that much, and for others, the vapor sticks around for some time. You can’t leave an inheritance of time to your family either. Some of us spend a good amount of energy accumulating a nest egg to leave to our future generations; but once we die, our time on earth is gone and cannot be inherited by anyone else. There’s nothing to pass on.

The Challenge

The challenge going forward is for each of us to donate our time. Help someone. Pray with someone. Be with someone. Comfort someone. Share not just your money, which seems to evaporate faster than time; but share your time with someone, which leaves an everlasting impression on someone else.

 

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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7 comments on “Can You Gauge a Heart by A Checkbook?
  1. John says:

    The Bible actually says where your money is,
    there will your heart be also ..

    It’s pretty simple, not rocket-science ..

    I recommend you and your friends don’t tithe,
    and destroy yourselves.

    • John,
      I firmly believe that where your money is, there your heart is also. I also believe the same thing about our time as well. Some people have lots of money and some have little, but one thing we have equality is our time. We each have 24 hours a day, rich or poor.

      When i believed in tithing, i rented a 600 square foot apartment. I was 16,000 in debt, not including my vehicle, and i didn’t have a full-time job.

      After i stopped believing in the tithing lie. I have no debt aside from a mortgage. i have 2 cars paid off. One with 260,000 miles and is 18 years old. Another that is 160,000 miles that is 14 years old. My children have maybe 3 pairs of clothing that we bought new. The rest are used hand-me-downs or garage sales. i own 1 pair of sneakers that have holes in them. I have no needs currently, and give cheerfully and liberally and freely to God. I am more satisfied today with older things, than i have ever been with newer things.

      Most Americans are spoiled brats when considering circumstances of most other countries. From within the US, i am far from spoiled. Either way, i am blessed with no debt and the opportunity to give to God as much as i want without the burden of paying off debt or the urge to spoil myself with brand new things.

      I don’t know what you are struggling with John, but i will pray for you.

  2. John says:

    The author of this website will be happy
    to know that people are tithing less and
    less ..

    Good Evangelical Churches are disappearing,
    and kids are beginning to follow the Devil.

    Satan thanks you for your service.

  3. John says:

    My apologies ..

    I’ve run into a number of very wealthy people
    that have launched entire ministries against
    tithing (basically what you’ve done, but their
    motives were simply to get wealthier at the
    expense of others) ..

    About 97% of Christians no longer tithe anyway ..

    Most don’t tithe, don’t care, and don’t feel
    the need for someone to release them from their
    guilt (they have no guilt).

  4. John says:

    (I won’t tell my story, but I used to be
    in numerous churches – had to take a break,
    but nothing wrong with the churches) ..

    A lot of people don’t understand what’s
    really going on inside ..

    Many churches, and the people in them, do a
    lot of community service, programs to help
    people etc. (many of them give money to the
    local food banks, poor elderly, kids and
    families that need help etc. – this goes
    mostly unnoticed) ..

    Many churches don’t advertise their good
    works for various reasons ..

    God said to do these things ‘in secret not
    out in the open to be praised by men’ – this
    is perhaps the main reason ..

    Most churches do not have the $$ to market
    themselves properly, so it tends to come off
    bad. The marketing is typically done by the
    pastor or someone in the church that may not
    know how to connect properly ..

    And last, if they advertise their good works
    all the time, all it does is drive every con
    man in the area to the church to harass the
    staff (they come in demanding help for their
    ‘cancer,’ or other made up ailment).

    Anyway, I’m guessing this is why you’re so
    very much against tithing (and you’re personal
    story – I’ve also seen the opposite of this –
    people getting wealthier after they started
    tithing) ..

    Christians are under grace, so not tithing is
    ok, but ..

    Keep in mind that not tithing is robbing God,
    His shepherds, and His people – it’s not
    something to joke about or fight against ..

    Christ did not come to abolish the Law, but
    to fulfill it.

    (My apologies for my bad behavior, as while I
    am fairly well off, I am not physically well.)

  5. John says:

    Check this out – *Barna Research ..

    http://www.kluth.org/stateoftheplate/1-tithing-statistics.jpg

    I have to admit, I’m highly skeptical of your
    site in general. I know a number of very wealthy
    people that tithe more than 10% (one of them is
    so big, I won’t mention them because you might
    recognize it, and they don’t want people to know).

    But I’m more concerned about the offspring of the
    rich not tithing (now adults) – a lot of them do
    not tithe like their parents did, and we’re seeing
    the results in America.

  6. new anon says:

    I think your article misses the mark. By trying to address the tither’s argument that non-tithers are stingy or selfish you give legitimacy to their argument (which is nothing more than an ad hominem attack–a logical fallacy).

    A better response is to simply ask “Why do you refuse to advocate God’s plan for giving instead of tithing, because tithing is NOT God’s plan for Christians.”

    Whatever reason critics want to ascribe to people for nothing tithing is meaningless, because there is no logical reason Christians to participate in something that is NOT God’s plan for Christians. God has a plan for Christian giving, and it is NOT tithing.

    A poster above said non-tithers would continue to destroy themselves by continuing to not tithe. That’s like the Pharisees in the Bible saying people would destroy themselves by no continuing to follow the Pharisees’ man made rules.

    Tithing is not God’s plan for Christians. That’s the only response needed when some tries to guilt trip you into tithing. Then ask they “Why do you insist on tithing instead of following God’s plan for Christian giving? Why don’t you want to follow God’s will on this matter instead of tithing?”

    Tithing is not God’s plan for Christian giving, nor is it God’s will for Christians.

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