It’s about that time again to write another article for our “Tithing is for….” series. Check out the list of other posts at the end of this article.
Tithing is lazy
You may think that tithing takes discipline and hard work, but the reality is tithing is simply moving the decimal places of your paycheck to the left and lifting your poor little fingers to write a check or click “pay” online. Tithing is lazy, thoughtless, and automatic.
What hard work have you put into giving to someone you love versus giving your taxes? Our taxes automatically come out of our paycheck, which requires little thought. If I wanted to give something to my spouse for our anniversary, I need to put a lot more effort into giving to my wife than I put into giving my taxes. If not, I will suffer the consequences.
Tithing is giving to God in the same way we give to the government. It’s automatic, simple, thoughtless, and effortless. Giving the tithe and the impact on your wallet is not painless, but the same goes for paying taxes. We wouldn’t consider going above and beyond the normal effort to pay taxes.
We do put in the extra effort, thought, and creativity for those we love. I love my wife, so when I buy her a gift I spend considerable time brainstorming, researching, shopping, and saving. Lazy people give checks and buy gift cards for presents because we haven’t put the time in to think about something more meaningful. I’m guilty of this lazy mentality more than I’d like to be.
When God gave to us, it wasn’t an automated, thoughtless form of generosity. Careful planning and preparation that required time and effort was put into place; so much so that he (almighty, omnipotent God) had to rest on the seventh day!
Imagine if God gave to us in the same way we gave to him – every person is only allotted 500 breaths a day and 6.5 ounces of food given once a week, and if God is feeling generous he’ll add an additional 1% to the total. This type of giving wouldn’t demonstrate his love towards us. Yet, we demonstrate our love back to him like a bunch of bean counters.
Quit being lazy. Start giving sacrificially and thoughtfully to others around you. This will require listening and some physical and mental effort on your part to follow through. Spirit-led giving will challenge your spiritual, mental, and physical stamina. Be prepared.
Tithing is boring
How exciting is tithing? I mean, really? It’s not exciting, it’s boring. What fun is it to give the same thing week-in and week-out? God does not want our preset allowance. Giving is one of the most exciting ways we can worship God, but Christians have made it the most boring and mundane.
We can’t come up with new ideas on how to give or who to give to because our job is to calculate 10% and pay our tithe online. Tithing prohibits us from interacting and communicating with others about one another’s needs. Interacting with others is necessary and exciting. It energizes and fuels our lives, but if we can show up to Sunday service and give the same, stupid, boring, monotonous gift while we sit in the back shadows, then we don’t need to fuel passion in our lives.
When we tithe, we don’t know where it’s going, who it’s going to, and how it is impacting others. There is someone on stage telling us, but there’s no personal or intimate interaction with those who are impacted by our giving. The giver is supposed to be more blessed than the receiver, but if we continue to disconnect ourselves from others through tithing then it will continue to be boring.
Tithing loses the spontaneity that the Holy Spirit offers. Spontaneity is not a bad thing. It is a powerful tool. Observe the disciples as they were waiting for the Holy Spirit to descend upon the church. As soon as the Spirit came upon them, it was a spark and a flame that ignited the first movement of the early Church.
The Holy Spirit will bring spontaneous moments in our life that we need to react to. In these moments we can choose to be the grumpy old men or women and be satisfied with our money going into the offering plate while silence is overcome by a solemn song. God loves a cheerful giver, yet our offering time is so boring when it should be one of the most exciting moments.
Don’t be bound by the sad state of tithing. Allow Spirit-led giving to drive spontaneity and creativity in our giving. Spirit-led giving is exciting and energizing. It will fuel our passions in our life because it will require more than mindless giving.
Tithing is gluttonous
Many people have been abused by the threats of not tithing. Some widows and poor have gone deeper into poverty due to the fear of not affording the tithe. On the flip-side, those whom God expects more of enjoy the fat of their land.
TIthing binds heavy burdens on the poor while affecting the rich very little. We don’t bother those who can give above and beyond the tithe because we feel satisfied with their performance. This is financial gluttony. How much we give us up to God. None of us can point the finger directly at others, but it’s obvious, we have greedy gluttons in the Church.
Spirit-led giving doesn’t stop gluttony, but what it does do is negate the false sense of sanctification we feel just because we hit our benchmark. With Spirit-led giving, we should constantly be analyzing our hearts about what God is calling us to give. Tithing creates a pinnacle of arrival that does a disservice to everyone.
One of the worse things about tithing is that offers very little financial accountability for church operations. Many churches and many programs within churches should not be funded, but because of the threat of not tithing, many feel obligated to give to these ministries that probably wouldn’t see the light of day if we could use discernment with Spirit-led giving.
A problem with enforcing tithing today is that the existence of a church or pastor would require people to give no matter if we agreed or disagreed with the decisions of leaders. The simplicity of it is that if I believed the bible required you to tithe, then all I needed to do was claim God was leading me to the ministry. The end of the story is that I get to freely follow the Spirit’s guidance while you as a tither must not deviate from the codified law.
This type of philosophy causes abuse and over-funding of ministries and folks who should not be funded in the first place. In turn, some ministries are gluttonous and over-funded, while those who could use charity are starving outside the walls.
Don’t be a couch potato giver
God gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and help us with our giving. Because of this close interaction with God, the Holy Spirit will challenge us in greater ways than tithing could. Spirit-led giving requires agility and spiritual maturity so God will place challenges in our life to help us grow.
These exercises are going to be hard work that tithing couldn’t possibly prepare us for. Get off the couch of tithing and start exercising your spiritual gift of giving.
Check out our other posts in this series: