April 03, 2008

Tithing away...

Warning, for those of you reading this who are in my Sunday School class, stop. Spoiler alert!

Our church is currently building a new sanctuary, so we're in the midst of a building campaign. As all of you church-goers know, that means a constant need and ask for money. As part of the ask (I guess the need too) our adult Sunday School coordinator has requested that all classes participate in a study on tithing and they provided the book, Fields of Gold, to facilitate the study.

Heath and I don't normally teach Sunday School, but our regular facilitator has been out for a family emergency and I felt a call to lead this. As many of you know, finances have been an important part of our lives in the past year, so I thought reading one more book on stewardship couldn't hurt. The book is great and serves more as a study of trust than stewardship.

So what's trust got to do with it? I was thinking along the same lines, so let me expand a bit. God promises to provide all of our needs (needs not wants). If we don't give of our wealth, if we hoard for ourselves, does that mean that we don't trust that God will provide?

Now, you're talking to an avid saver of money. There are many months that we go without certain things so that I can put my correct amount into our savings account. We do tithe, and we tithe in the Biblical sense (10 percent). I've never thought about going above and beyond that.

To add to the tithing predicament, Heath and I have recently discussed and agreed to the move for me to go to stay-at-home momdom. Financially (even with our current save/tithe plan) it's doable - probably not comfortable, but doable. I mentioned this to a neighbor recently, a stay-at-home mom with four kids. I told her I knew we could do it, but that we had gotten used to some things and that would be rough. She agreed and brought up some scripture that I never referenced to a financial situation before - Exodus 16:11-14. In these verses, God provides the Israelites with manna as sustenance. The manna arrives each morning and they learn to trust that God will provide for their needs. Nowhere is it written that the Israelites start fighting over and hoarding the manna, stuffing their pockets full of the stuff so they would have enough for tomorrow. Now, really, what would we as Americans do?

I'm not saying that we're going to drain our savings account, I'm just thinking out loud here. I never thought of my saving, or my tithing, as a trust issue. It's an interesting way to look at it and an interesting case study into yourself.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

What great way to put something that is so hard for many people (including myself) to understand. I admire you and Heath's principles and know you can make anything work. I think you will be very happy you made the stay-at-home decision and it will be worth the sacrifices.