At worship over Labor Day weekend, Immanuel member Jason Carter shared a generosity story about tithing. (Tithing is the practice of giving 10% of your income to support the church’s work.) He described how tithing is not just about finances – that Christians can use the idea of tithing when it comes to time, volunteering, and even our possessions. Jason told about how he and his wife, Allison, many years ago decided to tithe their home. That is, they decided to welcome people in need of temporary lodging in their home. This led them to foster and adopt children, to welcome newcomers to America, and to provide a space for others in need.
Jason told this story, not in order to say that everyone should do exactly what he has done. He shared the story as an inspiration to all of us to be creative with the ways in which we might tithe.
What would it look like if you started tithing on your social media time? The first challenge may be just being honest about how much time that is. But what if you took 10% of that time to look for members of our church you haven’t seen in a while or school parents that do not attend church and let them know you were thinking of them, remind them (or tell them for the first time) that God loves them, and invite them to join you for church followed by brunch?
What if you decided to tithe on your emotional energy? Maybe you give up some of the time spent getting irritated at political news or reading some clickbait article created to enrage or dishearten you. Instead call your aunt – you know, the one you try to steer clear of at family gatherings because she zaps your emotional energy – and ask if there is anything you could do to help or anything you could pray about?
What if you tithed that precious three hours between getting home from work and going to bed? Taking 18 minutes each day to open the Bible and read with your family, talk about the blessings God has given you that day, talk about ways in which God doesn’t seem to be listening, then lift all of it back up to Him who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine?
What will your tithing challenge look like?