Blog: Taking The Guilt Out Of Giving
My beliefs about tithing have evolved over time. Years ago, I attended a church that talked about tithing and giving all the time. I resented the constant talk about giving, and then I felt guilty for my ‘bad attitude.’ I felt guilty if I didn’t always tithe, and would beat myself up for not having enough faith. After a while I thought, wait a second. There’s something wrong with all this guilt I’m experiencing, and with all this manipulation over money.
I started going to a different church, where tithing was encouraged, but was rarely mentioned. I began to understand that giving is an attitude of the heart. I relaxed a little and let the Holy Spirit lead me. I asked for a generous heart, and gradually found that I was living a lifestyle of generosity, not a lifestyle of begrudgingly putting ten percent of my income (was that ten percent of the net or the gross?) into the offering plate.
Today, I do tithe, but I don’t do it out of obligation or because I’m following the letter of the law. I do it because God has changed my heart and I know I’m giving for the right reasons. I don’t do it thinking that if I give $100, God will magically bless me with $1,000. I do it because the Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. I do it because I know if I trust God to lead me in this area, I can trust Him to take care of all my needs.
And one other benefit of charitable giving. It’s pretty cool that if you file an itemized tax return, the IRS will let you deduct your tithes from your taxable income, so you potentially will pay less in taxes. How about that? You get a tax break for obeying God. It doesn’t get any better than that.
-Andrea Garrett, Money Wise, Co-Host