Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Give till it tickles!

From a Presbyterian, Margaret M. in Pennsylvania, comes a follow-up letter (A21) to the article featured in this post (third item). The letter's title matches my style exactly: "God Is So Reasonable, Only Asking For 10%." While I don't care to argue some of the finer theological points (e.g. tithing as a "means of grace") of the Presbyterians, I will reprint most of the text...[emphasis mine]

We encourage tithing at our church, not as a legalism, but as a means of grace. Indeed, not just tithing, but what our pastor terms "hilarious generosity"...Why? First, God is worthy of our best. Giving is an act of worship that, at its best, reflects a genuine response to God's many gifts to us, including the gift of his Son. Perhaps the proper question to ask isn't "how much of my income do I need to give to God?" but "of all God has entrusted to me, how much can I justify spending on myself?" Second, the needs are great. It doesn't take much analysis to notice that small shifts in our own consumption can make a huge difference in the lives of many who are in need. Finally, giving, with tithing as a discipline, helps us unhook from the grasp of our materialistic culture. Give until it hurts? No, give until it helps! God's grace, our gratitude, generous giving: a recipe for a life of great freedom and joy.

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