Did you give more this year than last year?
Carol Ann and I will make our annual Christmas list on Monday. I have convinced her that a budget, Excel sheet, and strategic plan really do put the Merry in Merry Christmas. As we put the list together, we will compare it with last year's list. I guess this keeps us from missing anyone, and helps us stay equitable - whatever that means this time of year. Anyway...
This is also the time of year for us to look back and see how we have done in our giving over the last 12 months. For us, the giving question is no longer centered around the percentage of our income given away. Instead, we want to see evidence that we have given away more of our income and stuff this year than the previous year.
As a principle, there is certainly nothing wrong with giving a tithe (10 percent), of your income to the Church where you attend regularly. In fact, based on current statistics that say most Jesus followers give 2%-4%, that would be a big improvement. However, the "required" Old Testament tithe really equaled around 25% of a person's income. It seems to me that 10% is the minimum; not the "I am the greatest giver in the world because I tithe" maximum.
As you think this through, remember:
- It all belongs to God.
- We are entrusted to manage well what we have been given.
- What is stored in Heaven will last forever.
- Am I growing in my giving?
- Do I give cheerfully?
- Do I see 10% as the maximum or the minimum?
- Do I give sacrificially?
- What does my checkbook say about my priorities?