By Dave and Janette Haak
The word can send shivers down the back of the common church members back. I’ve always heard the rule live on 80% of your earnings, save 10% and the other 10% is your tithe. If you put it in those terms, guess what, there’s never that last 10%.
The Bible tends to turn our human thinking around. Instead of the tithe being the left over, it’s to be the “firstfruits” of our labor. The tithe comes BEFORE we budget the 80%. Of course, the discipline of tithing is hard. It was explained to me years ago, “If it doesn’t hurt to give, then it’s not a sacrifice.” It also requires a leap of faith.
You’ll probably never be able to balance your budget once you start to think about increasing your tithe, but it’s one of those areas of faith that God has promised to bless you in if you do it. In Luke 6:38, Jesus promises “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Tithing in Our Marriage
We decided early in our marriage to tithe, but it was a time of angst and prayer getting there. Just a few years ago, I took a 20% pay cut and a year later, another 20%. It was a tough time and it would’ve been easy to stop giving our tithe, but we trusted and obeyed. I can remember one specific need of $900. I had $300 in a “rainy day” fund, but the rest we had no idea how the need would be met. We kept on trusting and obeying. Then a letter arrived with an unexpected check of $300. A short while later, another unusual letter arrived. Before opening it, Janette professed another $300. It was actually over the $300 mark.
Guess what. God doesn’t need your money! He doesn’t WANT your money if it’s given begrudgingly. The act of tithing isn’t to separate you from your money in a Godly tax! It’s a discipline FOR you. It’s a blessing to see the Lord provide for your needs and a strong testament to share those moments with your children. We made sure that the children saw how God provided for us, we wanted them to experience the joy with us. Janette always made a big deal out of the checks that would come unexpectedly in the mail. So, go on take the leap of faith.
Tithing and Your Children
Part of tithing is also being a role model for your children. We, in the Sheepfold, appreciate your child bringing an offering to Sunday School. We’re currently supporting the Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care. We’re collecting money to send back packs and bibles in their language. Please help us by helping your child see the value and reason we collect an offering.
Talk to your children about the offering they bring and the offering you bring as a family. Help them see how giving is a response to God’s love for us.
Money and Time
Sunday, Nov. 24, Pastor Dan’s message was about Stewardship of money and time. Scott Ghormley is our Dad On Duty, (D.O.D.) This year, we have not been able to recruit any other dads to come assist him, so he has faithfully served every Sunday since Sunday school started.
What, you might ask is a D.O.D.? Well, it is a dad who walks the halls downstairs during Sunday school, helping the teachers, taking a child to the bathroom, assisting a stray lamb, and sometimes even helping Maria Harshe or the snack mom with snack.
Scott has given of himself and his time so generously, but it sure would be nice to have more dads to help out. You don’t even have to be a dad; you just need to have a heart for children. For more information or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Whatever you do to honor God with your money and your time, share the conversation with your children of all ages. When they see you trying to figure out how to live out your faith, they will begin to try and figure out what faithfulness means in their lives, as well.