Dr. Michael Dent / November 20, 2012
Hundreds of them came forward Sunday…singles and doubles…ages 4 to 94 years…a father lifting his child up to participate…members and guests…black and white, brown and yellow…they came forward on Gratitude Sunday.
They came to present and consecrate their commitments to their church for the year…commitments of time, talent, and treasure…placing Gratitude Cards at the altar of God’s house…people of God offering their gifts and themselves…
For some, it was their first time to make such a commitment…for others their fiftieth or more to express God’s claim on and priority in their lives…whether it was the first or fifty-first time to do so, giving to God’s work declares that all belongs to the Creator…we are but returning a proper portion of what has been entrusted to us…
For millennia God’s people have given a tithe of their incomes back to God…a tithe is 10%, a standard set in the first book of the Bible (Genesis 28:22). It is easy to figure. Tithing is not a legalistic obligation, but an act of joy that liberates the believer from the grip of materialism.
My wife and I have tithed for all 38 years of our marriage. We will again in 2013. It is an appropriate response to the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Tithing helps us care for others. It reminds us that we are stewards, entrusted for a while with the fruits of creation. Nothing really belongs to us. It all belongs to God. We are the managers for a few years.
Have you ever tried tithing? Or given a specific percentage of your income, rather than an amount? What blessings have you received by being a grateful giver in response to God’s generosity? Do you manage your possessions, or do they manage you? How many hearses have you seen with luggage racks?