Losing Touch with Giving

13 Jan

I was thinking about tithing today. I know that most of us church-goers have been taught of the importance of tithing. I’ve heard preachers calling it, “Giving back to God”. As dangerous as this may sound, I have to disagree. Let’s face it, that tithe goes to fund the church’s monetary responsibilities. And for most churches this means payroll and building expenses. Very little of this money actually goes back to the community. We used to go to a mega church (really, not very different from the small church I grew up in, except for the size. They would have clothing and food drives where you would leave a bag of goods behind your car. When you left the service the bag had mysteriously vanished, picked up by some church volunteer. Great, you did a wonderful deed and helped out some needy families. But it didn’t feel like giving. In fact, there was very little satisfaction in this giving at all. I am not saying that you should only give when it feels good. What I am saying is that we have that feeling of satisfaction for a reason-so that we continue to give. I have come to realize that we, as a society, have become too far removed from our community, from our giving. We depend on others to give for us. We give our money and our goods to charities and churches, but rarely get involved in the actual act of helping others directly. We started going to a home church recently. Our leader doesn’t take a salary as a minister. He actually has a full time job to pay his bills. But the church is actively involved in volunteering with local charities. They build houses in Mexico through Casas por Cristos and handout sandwiches to the homeless through Project Compassion. It is a truly different way to look at giving. This way you can really see the people you are helping. It is a much more satisfying way to give. And let’s face it, God knows we are selfish creatures. Maybe that is why he made direct giving much more satisfying.

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