Before I share to you the things I’ve learned about tithing, let me first give you a definition of tithe:
Tithe – One tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the church and clergy.
I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic. And through all those years of going to mass, I have seen people put into the offertory baskets only their loose change (in Bisaya, “sinsilyo”, in Tagalog, “barya”). I even recall my mother asking us if we have some coins so we could offer it. Back then, I thought that it was normal, I thought that was expected from us parishioners to give coins. Sometimes during special occasions like Christmas, I’d see more people dropping in 10-peso or 20-peso bills. The clink clank of the coins in those church baskets were less noisy during those special times.
When I started “exploring God” by attending different churches, I noticed that other sects gave more during their offerings. They placed their money inside envelopes and gave with a smile. I was amazed and at the same time, jealous for my church. Because without batting an eyelash, I placed a 500-peso bill in the envelope that they handed to me. And then I became a member of CFC-Singles for Christ community. There we were taught to give more back to the Lord. And I learned more about what tithing really is. And I took baby steps.
They said tithing was about giving 10% of your income back to the Lord. And I remembered, back then, I was wondering if I should base it on my gross or my net income. But that was just a passing thought because I later on bargained to God if it’s alright if I just made sure that I won’t be giving coins during mass because I am sending my brothers to college. I considered it as a way of giving back to the Lord already and I was afraid that I won’t have enough left. So I said I would give only bills during Offertory time.
During that time, there were no more 10-peso bills! Our bills start with 20 already. To give you a little background, I was still working as a university instructor and I was earning about P18,000 per month. So if I followed the 10% rule in the Old Testament, I was supposed to give about 1,800 per month. But I just gave a maximum of 100 pesos each time I go to mass. AND, I was already very proud of myself then. Because my seatmates in church would only give their “barya” or coins – others won’t even give if they can’t find coins in their wallets or pockets.
When I started going to The Feast, I learned sooo much more about tithing. Just this morning, I attended the Call Center Feast in New Horizon Hotel here at Mandaluyong – just about 300 steps away from where I live. Can I invite you? 🙂 CCFM conducts feasts at this venue at 8 30 in the morning every other Saturday. So for those who are interested to join us, you are most welcome… see you on Feb 9! 🙂
Here are some of the things that I learned today:
– You have to give until it hurts. Have you experienced that sometimes when we give..it hurts? I’d share to you my story in a little while
– One sister shared how she was able to “unlock” God’s overflowing abundance when she started giving back to God. She shared how she and her husband have agreed and committed to giving 10% (or even more) of their income to God’s temple. She has an auto-debit system wherein the bank automatically deducts a certain portion of her income and puts it in God’s trust fund. She confessed that at first she and her husband were a little “afraid” because they had mortgages to pay, kids to send to school, and all other expenses. But you have to do it afraid. Because our GOD CANNOT BE OUTDONE in his generosity. Blessings poured in, and even overflowed…because God loves us so much.
– God doesn’t really need your money, He needs your faith! Many skeptics may ask, why should God have to obligate me to give back to Him if He is the owner of the universe? Brothers and sisters, God wants your faith…and He wants you to be His partner in building His kingdom here on Earth. He also wants you to create more space so that He can replace that space with more blessings that overflows! 🙂
5Hs of Tithing:
1. Habit – You have to do it regularly. What is the difference between giving and tithing? Giving is occasional while tithing is regular.
2. Happy – Giving back to God actually feels good and it will make you happy!
3. Holy – It makes your money holy. Tithing teaches us generosity, and generosity is the opposite of greed. The only way to liberate ourselves from the greed of money is to give it back to the storehouse of God.
4. Hunger – Hunger is good! Don’t you agree? We are talking about a different hunger here. You are hungry to help in God’s ministry, to expand, and to help more people. So you will do better in your jobs or businesses because you have a “good hunger” – to serve and to give more.
5. Harvest – Tithing teaches us the abundance mindset. We believe that there is an abundance of God’s blessings just waiting for us to harvest them.
So about the 2 common questions:
1. Can I just give my money to my poor relatives and will it be considered tithing? Giving to our relatives is good, but the Bible tells us to bring the full amount of our tithes to the temple
2. Should I base it on my gross or net income? How much do you want to be blessed – based on your gross or your net income? You decide. 🙂
How the concept of tithing has changed my life:
As I said, I took more bold steps toward tithing when I started attending The Feast. I started putting in 200.. 300.. 400.. and more inside the envelope. It started last year. And I told God that I would increase and hopefully reach 10% when my brothers would have their own stable jobs. You see, I am paying a big amount of money for my condo rent and my insurances. Plus, I sent most of my money to my brothers – one was still studying nursing at that time, and the other had a family to support (including my pretty niece Nycah). So when I put those bills in the envelope, there was some kind of pain. But when I put that envelope into the basket, I feel relieved. Because I knew that I no longer have to worry about my family. I know that God will take care of them. And guess what?!
God truly, could not be outdone in His generosity. I got promoted. My brother passed the Nursing board exam and just this month, he got into a Nursing job in the province. My other brother, Jong, was accepted as a fireman in the government – he now has a stable and good paying job! I am now starting to pay for my own condo. And I got another life insurance from Sunlife. My stocks in Citiseconline are doing good, too! God is really a wonderful, loving God! He is a God of abundance. Praise God!