My mother-in-law recently gave me a very cool gift. (Actually, she gave me many amazing gifts. I’m a spoiled brat now.)
She gave me a two-thousand year old Widow’s Mite. It looks a lot like the coin pictured above and is reported to be the same type of coin that the widow gave in Luke 21:1-4.
The coin itself is very small and light and doesn’t look like an even remotely impressive gift.
Yet it moved the heart of God.
The question of tithing is a temperamental and controversial one.
The Old Testament says that we should tithe ten percent of our earnings. The New Testament says to give to the poor. Some Christians maintain that you have to give to your church in order for the gift to count. Others claim the Malachi promise and use it as a persuasive technique.
It’s easy to get confused and turned around and to wonder if, what, where, and when to give. It’s even easier to claim that pastor’s are fleecing the flock and we shouldn’t be asked for anything.
I think the theology man has built up around tithing has become so complex that most people either a) don’t give, or b) only give out of a feeling of obligation.
But here’s the simplified way to look at it: Give what God tells you to give, when He tells you to give it, to the person He’s telling you to give it to.
One thing that’s tough to argue with is the truth that Christians are called to love.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matt.22:37-40
A great deal of the time we are called to show that love in practical ways.
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? James 2:15-16
Tithing should be something that comes the heart, and if you find that you are unable to give simply because you genuinely want to (2Cor.9:7) then it’s time to examine your heart and see where your true treasures are. Because it’s not the size of the gift, but the willingness to give that matters to God.
Another important note is that tithing doesn’t always need to be money. You may find yourself in a position where you simply do not have the money to give. But you can still give something. Time, food, services, a friendly face, etc. There are many practical, life-changing gifts you can offer besides money.
If you are confused about what to give, where to give, why to give, ect. then pray about it. Press into Jesus and ask Him to guide you. I guarantee that He will start giving you opportunities to give in His name.
Giving really is better than receiving. God wants to bless us with more of Him, but He won’t do that when we put a lot of stuff in His way.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt.6:19-21