Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Responsible Resource Management (Tithe offering)
“Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave” (v: 20)
What is tithe: Tithe means a tenth or 10 percent. The Old Testament law required that a tenth of all produce, flocks, and cattle be given to support the Levites. There is no clear explanation why 10%. Some scholars believe ancient cultures picked the arbitrary figure of one-tenth because they often did calculations on their fingers.
Why should we Tithe: According to one survey in 2012, 5% of Americans qualify as having tithed—giving 10% or more of their annual income to a church or non-profit organizations. Tithing has been on a decline in the past few years. We are becoming stingy these days in tithing. Recently I heard that ‘not having enough’ is one of the excuses in not tithing. We have become so materialistic and the reference bar for luxury and necessity is going up every day, we will never have enough so that we can start tithing
Most discussions of tithing begin with the Old Testament precedent, recorded in Genesis 14:20. After an astounding victory in the battle, Abram thanked God by giving Melchizedek, the high priest one-tenth of all he had. Then, in Numbers 18, we find tithing included in the Mosaic Law. Its purpose was to provide for the Levites, whom God wanted to concentrate on priestly duties.
The New Testament does not give any specific rules about tithing, However, Jesus made it clear that we are obligated to be generous to those in need (Matthew 25:31-46). Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew 5:42)
What can we tithe: whenever we think about tithe, money is the first thing which comes to our mind? It does not have to be money always. We can contribute our produce, time, talent or anything valuable we have for the glory of our creator.
This reminds me about a project in the 70’s in one of the villages in Kerala. It was called “Pidiyari” project. Everybody saves a handful of uncooked rice from their dinner portion every day. If they usually make 3 cups of rice for their dinner, measure that much of rice first, then take a handful of rice and put it in another container for saving. Family eat 1 handful less that day. It was not that easy at that time because people live with just adequate amount of food; but still you can survive with a handful less. The saved rice keep piling up; then they collect rice from the people who saved for the need of the poor. This taught me a memorable lesson in my life what is helping the real sense; that is the true meaning of the giving.
Prayer: God almighty, please help us to understand the real need of the tithing and make us give more instead of waiting to have enough. Please help us understand that there will not be a time when we say we have enough.
Thought for the day: We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. -- Winston Churchill