Before you tithers get your panties in a wad and go all hormonal on me, get some tissues out to wipe your tears away. Here are a few reasons that should convince you pansies to trade in your skirts and begin giving sacrificially through freewill, Spirit led giving.
Spirit-Led Giving Takes More Guts
Tithing is easy because you’ll never have to give to people you don’t feel comfortable giving to. Yeah, I’m talking about those people you don’t think deserve any handouts. It’s easy giving to your nice pastor all dressed up in a fine suit and his classy henchmen with gold-plated name tags. Any pansy is comfortable putting their money in the offering plate knowing that reputable, nice-smelling people with combed hair are in charge of their money. By tithing every Sunday, you never have to worry about anyone being in charge of your money with no teeth, bad breath, nasty hair, B.O, or a history of alcoholism.
I’m sure many of us have a hard time finding ways to give outside of our circle of comfort. Most tithers feel uncomfortable with the spontaneity and radicalness of freewill, Spirit-led giving. The fact that their money is not in the hands of someone wearing a nice suit with french cuffs overwhelms them. If we randomly come across an opportunity to give to someone in need, we start rationalizing what they’re gonna do with it. The hypocrisy is how conservative we get with our money only when we’re giving it away, but on Black Friday, ‘conservative’ is crossed out of the dictionary.
Deuteronomy 15:7-11 If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the LORD against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him
The Holy Spirit will ask you to give what’s most valuable to you. I don’t know what that would be. Maybe it is money; maybe it’s a job or family, maybe friends or even a hobby. Everyone is different. There is example after example in the bible where God is seeking a valuable sacrifice. We treat tithing as if it’s a one-size-fits-all guide to stewardship principles. Most of us come across Luke 14:26, where Jesus states that if you do not hate your family you cannot be my disciple, and treat this passage as a hypothetical situation because we’re so pampered by our consistent tithing routine we’ve got going on.
Our spiritual hands are soft as baby skin because we’ve not done hard work for the longest time. We wear tithing like a rune around our neck to ward us off from evil spirits and that is the extent of our religious gesture towards generosity. We don’t become involved in the battle, nor do we wish to risk anything that is of value to us. We don’t want to bear a cross, and don’t feel a necessity to present our whole lives as a sacrifice. We are comfortable with giving our 10% donation every week in order to cleave to a false sense of protection to stop the curse devouring the other things in life we actually value more than our tithe.
Luke 18:22-23 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
Genesis 22:2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Spirit-Led Giving Takes a Bigger Effort
Tithing is practically effortless. If you got past 3rd grade, anyone can probably figure out how to give 10%. you don’t even need a calculator. Come on now, just move the decimals 2 spots to the left, and that’s what you give God. So easy; nothing to it. No thinking, no questions, no interaction with others or even God. Once you get that paycheck, immediately write that check and place it in the offering plate, basket, bucket, box . . . whatever.
Unlike those tithing sissies, it takes hard work for those of you man enough to give sacrificially through Spirit-instructed giving. It takes prayer. it takes fellowship, communion and interaction with other believers and non-believers. You have to understand their needs. You can’t just blindly write checks to those you think need it. Spirit-led giving is not a blindfolded game of darts. Most people, including myself, don’t want to do the work it requires to listen to God and also understand the needs of those around us. We are so consumed with our own lives that it’s best to just fill out that check week in and week out without much thought, interaction, or fellowship with God or others. With tithing, I can avoid all the hassle.
Spirit-led giving requires a lot more than money. It takes sacrifices from other areas of our life as well. Our time, talents, treasures, families, friends, leisure and entertainment will all experience the effects of Spirit-led giving. As I stated, tithing is simple since it is calculated. It only takes a signature on a check. Sacrificial Spirit-led requires communion with God, believers, and non-believers.
I don’t know about you, but many times I am comfortable with keeping God and others at arms length. We create this sphere to protect us from being interfered by others, but can still be penetrated when ‘I‘ could use some help.
2 Corinthians 8:3-7 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.
Spirit-Led Giving Takes Stronger Faith
Tithing puts pulpits at ease and puts the pews on the squeeze. So, it’s the leaders and the elders who are the sissies in this case since they don’t mind putting everyone else under the jurisdiction of the law. Tithing helps church budgets from being desperate at times. Who wouldn’t have peace of mind with a few safety nets in place? Tithing is simply a form of insurance so we don’t have to know what it’s like to need God. If everyone gave as the Spirit led, then as a pastor, the sense of helplessness and lack of control would overwhelm me. To rely on God’s movement on others for support is a malignant concept to most pastors. It’s not our liberty that bothers us, it’s the liberty of others that we fear. As the wise master Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Paul mentions that the early church struggled with control in Galatians stating that false men were infiltrating their fellowship in order to spy out their liberty and then bring them under bondage. As stated, fear ultimately leads to suffering, and in this case, it’s bondage.
Matthew 23:4 “For they [scribes and pharisees] bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.“
Sissies run to tithing for protection. As long as we are tithing, we should be protected from the curse. If your car breaks down, or there’s a sudden medical expense, you can immediately blame it on that one time, 15 years ago when you didn’t tithe. If you’ve never missed a single tithe on any single Sunday, then you can relax . . . you’re not on God’s naughty list. If you’re the type of person that tithes on birthday money, then you REALLY are in God’s favor.
For those of you making hundreds of thousands and millions each year, all you need to do in order to keep raking in the dough is give your 10%. For you, it doesn’t take much sacrifice to keep God happy. Heck, you can even throw in 11% to cover your bases just in case you overlooked some extra cash you had laying around.
If you practice Spirit-led giving you understand that spiritual accountability doesn’t end once you hand your tithe in. Spirit-led giving keeps you constantly on your toes and in tune with God and others about ways to give and help. Hey, dummy . . . It’s not what you give that protects you, it’s the constant fellowship with God that protects you. Runes and charms are for little sissies who think they just need some formula to ward off any evil curses. A real warrior trains constantly to learn how to protect his life. A real warrior doesn’t use charms to protect him in battle; he uses his sword, shield, and battle tactics he learned while training.
Ephesians 6:16-17 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;