ithing. I could ask how do you teach children to tithe, but the bigger question, the much bigger question is how do you teach adults to tithe?
I grew up in a church where Christian formation was a life long event. Once you made your profession of faith, which you had to do on your own, you were considered a full member of the church with all the rights and privileges accompanying that decision. Which meant you were sent a box of 52 envelopes for your weekly tithe. On the envelope you had to check off that you had read your Bible each day, attended prayer meeting, Sunday school and that in the envelope was your tithe. And even as a twelve year old you were expected to turn in your tithe. Ten percent of whatever your allowance was, for me my envelope contained a dime for my one dollar allowance.
Too often as adults we rationalize that our little bit won’t make a difference. Too often as adults we exclaim that we need everything we get, and can’t spare 10 percent. I have been there. So deep in that I could not see sparing anything. And it seemed the more that I got, the more that I kept, and the deeper I sunk. Until one day, from the deepest pit that I may have ever been in, I became aware that God had not moved, but I had wandered from that path. I was not involved in a local congregation. I was not reading my Bible. I was not praying. And I was not tithing.
In debt. Out of my element. My first step back to God was to begin attending a local congregation, and the second was to begin tithing. It hurt, but it so informed and changed the direction of my life. Within two weeks I had connected with a resource that would have me be debt free in five years, not ten, and with God’s portion going to God off the top. And while I count becoming debt free liberating, the liberation began when I was put on that path with God.
Yet as adults we continue to make excuses. What excuse can you offer God? What stops you from entering this thin place.