“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return to measured out to you.” - Luke 6:38
Tithing is such a great sacrifice? Are there any real benefits?
In addition to the fact that you are following God’s will and providing your Church with the resources it needs to carry out the work of Jesus Christ here on earth, those who embrace tithing report that this approach has numerous benefits. The satisfaction that comes from gratefully sharing your blessings is tremendous.
· 1. When you take a hard look at your spending and plan to make God first in your budget you quickly begin to realize the difference between what you need and what you want.
· 2. You begin to eliminate the endless clutter of material wants from your life and start to more fully appreciate the many blessings that you already have.
· 3. You realize that commercialism works to convince us that we never have enough of the right things, even though God has already blessed you with all that you need.
· 4. You stop being “consumed by consumerism” and “possessed by your possessions” and begin to slow down and prioritize not only how you spend your money but also how you spend your time.
· 5. Once you stop trying to satisfy yourself with material possessions and spending, you may even find that you enjoy simple pleasures more fully – especially time to deepen your relationships with God, with loved ones and with your community.
Ultimately, those who tithe often feel that the practice brings more joy, more peace, more contentment and more balance to their lives.
Even if giving a full tithe is not immediately possible for you, it is important to work towards this goal. You can begin by committing to giving a gift that is planned, proportionate and sacrificial. Most Catholics do not even know how much they give back. When they take the time to calculate that amount they are often surprised and discomforted. We often think we are very generous yet despite the strong urging throughout sacred scripture to give back 10% the average Catholic today gives less than 1%.
The first step in working towards a tithe is to determine what percentage you are currently giving back. Then see if you can increase that percentage by at least ½ percent. If you increase your giving every year by at least ½ percent or more, you will eventually reach a full tithe. A full tithe is 10%. It is usually suggested that you give 5% to your parish and 5% combined to any other charities that touch your heart.
Of course, it might be necessary to eliminate something from your family or personal budget in order to increase your giving every year. Eliminating discretionary monthly expenses – such a phone or cable packages, memberships, entertainment, subscriptions, etc. – is often a good place to start. Sometimes input from the entire family might be helpful in finding a way that you can tighten the budget so that more can be given upfront to God. A legalistic approach to a certain percentage really isn’t as important as developing an overall grateful and generous way of life. Many who begin on this type of stewardship journey eventually find that they feel called to increase their giving even beyond the 10% level.
The Diocese of Lexington as partnered with Stewardship Technologies to enable on-line secure giving.
Electronic Giving Solutions is a tool to help church members fulfill their giving commitments. Whether used by young couples just learning the discipline of tithe or by retired individuals adjusting to life on a fixed income, Electronic Giving Solutions provides the necessary help they need. When asked, most church members say they want to give more; but unless they are given the correct tools, they may never experience the joy of true biblical stewardship.
Is God more concerned with how we bring the offering to church or the attitude with which we give? Whether we place our tithe in the offering plate or send it electronically, everything we have is really His, and intended to be used to do His work.