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Biblical Models for Giving:

The Old Testament urged the tithe. A tithe is 10% of your income. (You can decide before or after taxes. The important thing is working a plan!) The ancient Hebrews were encouraged to give that amount of money and possessions BACK to God as an expression of thanks for God’s promise of Covenant love.

The New Testament model is sacrificial giving. The example is Jesus. Sacrificial giving is described in the Christian song: “Freely, Freely”. The refrain says: “freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give. Go in my name and because you believe, others will know that I live.” The picture of sacrificial giving offered in the New Testament, is Jesus act of self-giving, on the cross.

Many Christians who want to grow in their faith through sharing their money, practice “proportionate” giving which is simply giving in proportion to what we have received. This method is practiced through a simple mathematical calculation, to determine a percentage of income that God is calling the individual   to give. Click here to find a “method” for growing in giving.

I want to tithe but it seems like a big step!

People who grow in the faith through tithing do not usually do not arrive at that level in one step. Rather, they have been on a carefully mapped out journey. They set their destination and then took incremental steps to achieve it, increasing their level of giving by 1% each year, based on their annual income.

Determine what percentage of your income you believe God is calling you to give this year. Divide that gift up in manageable amounts and start to experience the joy of giving your money away. The church sees giving as an act of worship and a way to express thanks to God for the gift of unrestrained love.

Learning to grow in our giving is a combination of discipline and passion. As we grow in our giving, we grow in our relationship with God. As we grow in our relationship with God we become more aware of the needs around us and offer what we have to extend God’s work in the world. Our giving may also support God’s work in the community such as supporting environmental efforts or social justice needs.

The record is clear. Generous givers are typically more spiritually vigorous and happier than those who are not generous. And it has nothing to do with the size of the gift. It has to do with the level of generosity with whatever we happen to give.





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(Last modified: 12/15/10)