6 comments on “The top 10%

  1. Some twenty years ago, I fell out of the sky into this Baptist church which God had obviously and cleverly planned for me.

    Remembering how my mother always used to drop a couple sawbucks in the plate when we attended the Catholic church as children, I thought it appropriate to make a modest weekly offering in thankfulness for having been rescued so recently from the very edge of oblivion.

    Well, it wasn’t long before I heard a gently, but clearly, delivered sermon on tithing from Pastor Ed who set me to thinking. “You cannot afford NOT to tithe,” he emphasized. “Do you trust Him??”

    Ok, then. Game on. I will try it.

    Through the remainder of that year, I began increasing my contribution until I finally reached the 10% level in December sometime. At that point, I assessed the financial situation and found no apparent threat to my budget.

    To the contrary, when it came time to do my taxes the following spring, I discovered a pleasant surprise. The total offering for the previous year was nowhere near 10% of my total income, yet that meager amount tipped me into a lower tax bracket which gave me a much larger refund than usual.

    In fact, the excess refund was more than I had given the church. By golly, I made a profit on the deal!

    Now, to be honest, that particular twist has not reoccurred. It was a one-time happenstance, but it was enough to convince me that you really cannot afford NOT to tithe.

    On the other hand, God continued blessing me in other ways, perhaps the most important of which was arranging for me to find and marry the sweetest girl in all the world. The Lord grafted me into a big loving Hispanic Christian family who embraced me as their own. My wife’s children have given me grandchildren which is truly an unexpected blessing that fills my cup to overflowing, just as it says in the Scriptures.

    It’s my distinct pleasure to serve with you, Sarah, as a fellow worker in the vineyard, and as your step-father. Thanks for all you do at Green Hills!!

    • I LOVE THIS STORY! (and not just because you give me a ‘shout-out’ in it). I love hearing how people progress through toward becoming faithful tithers and then seeing how God teaches us in the process. and you are right, the blessings that come through tithing aren’t always monetary. they can be even more fulfilling than money. thanks so much for sharing! i love it! 🙂

  2. When I was college, I worked summers and Christmas vacation, as well as on campus during the semester, to pay my tuition. I had good scholarships, but I didn’t get much help from home. Dad was a single parent, church minister, and I knew he helped out when and how he could, but it was never much. Spring semester of my sophomore year, I got into a bad habit of really worrying about money, and not trusting that God would provide. I went several weeks without giving a tithe, rather, keeping a running IOU in my head for God. The Holy Spirit started to gnaw on me and I got closer and closer to getting right with God, but I would chicken out each time, because I knew my final tuition payment was coming up for the semester, and I didn’t have enough money to make it happen. However, one day, I couldn’t take it anymore – I knew I was in disobedience, and I wrote three months’ worth of a tithe check to my church, expecting full well that it meant I wouldn’t have enough to pay my tuition. I went by the accounting office the next day, just to assess the damage, and, as it turns out, a scholarship I hadn’t anticipated posted to my account, and I miraculously was able to pay my tuition and was left with $13 to my name. “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

  3. I don’t know that kids need to know the amount their parents tithe, but it is important for them to know that it is happening. As a kid, my family wasn’t “rolling in the dough,” and we had many soup or scrambled egg dinners, but i KNEW that my parents were giving a tithe, though i never knew the amount. I knew the various missions organizations they supported, because I liked bringing in the mail, and would read the return addresses, and ask my mom about what they were in reference to. She would tell me what the organization was and why they chose to support that organization or specific missionaries. it opened my eyes to the extent of missions and the various wats that folks can be missionaries. To this day, i could tell you almost all of their names/organizations! In fact, I knew my folks often gave over and above a tithe, as they would often use their “benevolence fund” to help out a friend in need, or have us help choose a family to help out at the Thanksgiving holidays.

    In respect to helping to teach kids about it, besides being an example to them yourself, Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) has some GREAT financial explanations, even a program/literature for kids to learn about money (giving, saving, spending) that encompasses more aspects of money managing for kids than just tithing (He is a Christian, but the curriculum is not blatently Biblical, just subtle about it.).

    • Dave Ramsey! {Slaps forehead} of Course!!! why didn’t I think of it myself?!?! I love the idea of teaching kids benevolence. I never really considered it. the best tool to teach my kids was the capital gift campaign. They both had goals and gave inconsistently, though they both reached their goal at the end. when that ended, the lessons ended too. I need to get back on that. thanks for sharing!

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