Posted by Vogeler on October 22, 2008
Setting: A small room at a local community college. Folding chairs are arranged in a semi-circle around a podium with a microphone. People of various ages occupy the chairs as a young, obviously-nervous young man steps up to the microphone.
Nervous Young Man: *ahem* “Is this thing on?” *tap* “Uh, my name is Todd, I’m an Evangelical Christian… and…uh….I don’t tithe regularly.”
Audience: “Hi, Todd.”
Since I became a Christian, nearly six years ago, I’ve struggled with tithing. As a child, my parents gave something to their church every week, although I don’t know how much, so they set a good example for me. But when I got out on my own and was single, money was pretty tight (mostly because I spent it all on eating out and other frivolous stuff) so I rarely gave anything to the church, contenting myself with loads of time spent volunteering. When I got married a little over two years ago, my wife and I agreed that we needed to tithe 10% every week. And we did, faithfully, even though I wasn’t making much and we were partly living off my student loan checks (I was in college full-time while working).
When I was downsized this past April, we continued to tithe for a bit, but as things got worse and we got farther behind, I truly felt God telling me it was ok to pause for a while (yes, I still believe God really did give us a limited time away from tithing). But now it’s been six months. Part of my income is commision-based, which is not cool, as business has been really slow the past several months and we’ve been barely scraping by even without tithing. Yet I have begun to feel that God wants us to start tithing again.
Which brings us to the point of this post. I’m scared. I’m really, truly frightened of beginning to tithe again. We are in a financially precarious position (along with the rest of the world). We do not have the money to tithe faithfully and pay our bills (none of which are frivolous. I need high-speed internet for my computer business and our satellite is free for a year. Everything else is a need). I know in my head that God has cared for us in the past, and will continue to do so, but it hasn’t quite reached my heart.
I feel really called to help people take control of their finances; as many of my friends and family can tell, I am passionate to the point of being obnoxious about it. We are so close to getting to the point where we have some things paid off and can start attacking our debt (we want to be debt-free in the next 10 years). But I also know that I can’t truly minister to people to help them with their finances until I have surrendered mine to God’s hands.
This isn’t meant to be a whiny post, or an attempt to get pity. I guess the only thing left to do is take the step of faith, trust that God knows what He’s doing, and let go.
And that’s the hard part.