“Always the Tithe, Always Given to God” by Tom Ehrich
On Harvest Giving
To paraphrase a teaching I heard some years ago, the issue in Stewardship isn’t money, percentages, Biblical definitions, budgets or giving to the poor. The issue is control. Specifically, our addiction to control.
We give to God without tying God’s hands on how our funds are to be used. I choose to give my tithe to Park Avenue Church. I don’t wish to control how church leaders spend my giving. If I stopped trusting their devotion to God’s work, I would give my tithe somewhere else. But always the tithe, always given to God, without any strings attached.
My giving doesn’t buy me any control over the budget. It isn’t even tied to the budget. It is tied solely to my awareness of being blessed and my desire to show gratitude to God.
As church members, we have an interest in the congregation’s budget, facilities, programs, staff and priorities. I hope we all join in debating them. But our checkbooks should never be in our hands during those debates. We need to give up that sense of control.
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