I asked this question to an adult Sunday school class I was teaching a few years ago. Not many hands went up. I didn’t dare to ask how many were tithing (or giving the first 10% of their income away). That seems to be a topic as sensitive as asking about someone’s sex life. But when I asked who would give more if they won the lottery, all hands went up. My observation has been that if someone was not giving 10% now, he or she wouldn’t give any more even if they had more.
Stewardship is not based on what you don’t have, but on what you currently do have .
Stewardship is a New Testament concept, whereas tithing is taught in the Old Testament. “…The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives” (Deuteronomy 14:23 The Living Bible). The concept of stewardship puts a new perspective on giving. It takes the “my” out of what I control, and returns ownership back to God. I only control its use. The New Testament teaches that “If you are not faithful in the way you manage unrighteous mammon, God will withhold from you true riches which are spiritual blessing.” (Luke 16:11 paraphrased). So how do I apply these principals to my own life?
I established a lifetime giving goal, and a new accounting system .
I keep a financial statement that reflects temporary and permanent assets. Temporary assets include assets I still control such as real estate and investment accounts. Permanent assets include what I have already given away to charities that I believe God would spend His money on. I have much farther to go to meet my lifetime giving goal, but my permanent new worth has finally exceeded my temporary net worth. Next time you prepare your financial statement, try this new accounting system. Mother Teresa said, “Everything that is not given is lost.” I wrote a book a number of years ago, “Wealth Conundrum”, if you would like a complimentary copy, please contact our office.