enter site I struggled with whether to tithe when I decided to become a Christian. I still had well over $150,000 worth of loans from medical school, and 10% felt pretty steep, especially on a resident's salary. I still have to save up for my future practice as well so that I won't have to take out a huge loan. I could also use a new laptop for work. I had a bunch of places I wanted to explore during vacations, which would cost a good amount. The money that went to church could easily pay for dates, food, and other outings. The list was endless.
After pondering over this for a couple weeks, I realized that everything I was considering using the money for benefited only me. At least, the intention was focused on what I personally got out of it. Inherently, there's nothing wrong with having those things. If you can afford them, great! The issue is when we start to value money too much and let it control how we think and act.
Money is so important that Jesus actually spent the greatest amount of time during his ministry on this topic. When I focus on money and how it benefits me, a part of me loses out on the spirit of giving and becomes just a little more selfish. Not only that, I start to focus on what I alone can provide for myself, and I begin to trust less that God will provide for me.
"Bending the rules in one aspect of faith opens the doors for other aspects to falter."
This builds over time. The more you know you are called to tithe but hold out, the more you reinforce this selfish mindset over time. Everyone thinks it's no big deal, and they tell themselves that they'll give more when they have more money. How many of us actually hold to that? When do we think we have "enough"? $50K/year? $100K/year? $500K/year?
The main issue with this line of thought is that, in general, the more most of us have, go here the more we fear losing it. We paradoxically feel a greater need to store and protect what we have, so we end up less inclined to give freely. There is no minimum income that will allow us to feel completely secure and stable with our finances.
The time to give is always now, and it must always be done in faith that God will provide for us. If I don't have that faith, I will never be satisfied with how much I have. I'll cling too hard to the materialistic things in this world and forget that money isn't what truly matters. When I die, I'm going to leave all of my money and stuff behind. What will have mattered most is how I served God through the Great Commission.
I must continue to remind myself that money doesn’t bring happiness. It is only a tool that can help bring happiness. It is only a means for building experiences with those you love and for serving others. Happiness can be created with very little or no money at all.
That's why I decided to tithe 10%. It's a small building block in the foundation of my relationship with God, but I've never felt richer in my life.