To many, a dirty word.
To our church, an integral part of our fundamental belief #21 re good stewardship.
I’m careful with money so when I first heard about paying tithe, a few years before joining the church, I thought it was an objectionable and unpleasant idea, something that one or two fringe faiths believed in, and that I could never see myself doing.
It was totally foreign to my way of thinking and made me quite uneasy.
I said to myself:
"Why should I give 10% of my hard-earned salary to a bunch of church people I don’t know, to do who knows what with? How could I trust them to use it properly even if I did pay it?"
Over time, as I learnt more about the small and big pictures, I came to a position where I knew that if and when God managed to convert me then tithing would not be an issue; it would naturally flow from my conversion.
Before I was converted, when the idea of tithing was still very uncomfortable, I knew that when I was truly converted I would tithe willingly and gladly. It would be a measure of my conversion and my surrender to God.
And that’s the way it turned out.
Am I sure that 100% of my money will be used wisely?
Am I satisfied with every aspect of church expenditure?
Am I absolutely certain that the Adventist church has high standards of integrity, oversight, accountability and transparency, and that my money will generally be put to good use in furthering God’s work?
When I was converted, I saw and accepted God as the Creator and Owner of everything.
I own nothing; it all belongs to God.
I am the grateful steward of His financial blessings and I seek to be a good steward.
I covet nothing and envy no-one.
My thinking was turned upside-down; not by people, but by God.
I am no longer materialistic or focused on money.
I stopped entering lotto and daydreaming about a big win.
This is such a real and glorious freedom.
It’s a joy to be free of financial daydreams, regrets and concerns!
Tithing is not between you and the church.
It is between you and God.
We are giving it to Him; as simple as that.
To pay tithe is to acknowledge God as the Creator and Owner of everything, which He is.
It symbolizes our forsaking of worldly values and ambitions, and our adoption of God’s values and God’s will in our lives.
It is also His idea, not ours.
It is Biblical.
Jesus endorsed it.
It is the logical, efficient and sensible method of raising a predictable level of funds which enables the church to budget and plan, and to grow and thrive in its mission of taking the Gospel (good news) to a dying world.
Biblical tithe is a tenth of our gross income (or "increase") before taxes, medical insurance, pension fund, living expenses, etc.
Why cheat God?
I assure you, when you are truly converted, you will tithe willingly and gratefully.