3 Biblical and Data Driven Reasons Why You’re Giving Less

Ellen Painter Dollar recently shared her struggles with tithing. According to her, when she was in her 20’s she was a faithful giver. Now that she and her husband presently make 4 times what she used to make she doesn’t tithe. According to her:

“We give away about 5 percent of our gross income every month, divided between a pledge to our church, a monthly gift to an organization addressing global poverty…and smaller donations to charities we support.

And I miss that money. I’m glad we give it away, but I miss it. I would like to give more, but I’m also enjoying the financial place we’re in right now. Due to a significant promotion my husband got last year, we are for the first time in our adult lives able to do things like go out to dinner for a birthday and pay for the kids’ summer camps without hyperventilating. I admit that the idea of giving away a higher percentage of our income, and as a result having to seriously curtail some expenses, makes me feel a bit resentful. And then guilty, because really Ellen? You sit here in your lovely home with a kitchen full of food and three children who have never wanted for anything, and you resent giving away money that you’d rather use on, what, new jeans or a renovated kitchen or a vacation? Pathetic.”

But Ellen is not alone.

According to an analysis of IRS tax returns researchers at the Chronicle of Philanthropy found the wealthiest Americans — those who earned $200,000 per year and over — actually reduced the share of their income they gave to charity by 4.6% in 2012, compared to the amount they gave in 2006.

Giving decreases as income increases

Those who earned less than $100,000 — including poor and middle-class families with two working adults — donated 4.5% more of their income in 2012 than 2006, but those making $25,000 or less gave 16.6% more. But those charitable contributions steadily decreased as incomes increased.

So why are you giving less? You already guessed it: you’re making more money.

You can read the rest on my guest post at Patheos.

How The State of Tithing in America Has Evolved

For all its controversy tithes and offerings account for$50 billion a year in the U.S.

$50 billion.

This $50 billion is from 10 million tithers–people who donate 10% or more their income to a church–across America. They make up 10-25% of a normal congregation yet they for 50-80% of church funding.

The ole’ Pareto principle (or the 80-20 rule) is still at work.

Here’s an infographic on the state of church giving in the US.

So out of that $50 billion there are churches receiving a larger portion of that pie.

And its not because they are megachurches.

The Reasons Why Some Churches See Bigger Offerings

Now I understand the controversy of this article. I know there people who see churches as businesses where “rich pastors” deceive poor people to give. Also, to be frank: I’m not a pastor. I get no benefit from tithes and offerings. So no I’m not asking you to send me a check!

But I am somebody who has seen their own life change as a result of  giving. Not only that, but I do believe in the mission of the global church–the one called to lead, serve, and share. Regardless of its imperfections and missteps, it has great value in the eyes of One who died for it.

So, if it needs helps with the bills I think its only fair I lend a hand.

So yes, I’m a pro-tither!

Read the rest on my guest post at Patheos

 

How I Changed My Life With a One Year Tithing Experiment

I’m a tither.

Despite the controversy surrounding it, I’m a huge advocate of it.

And, honestly, before I got serious about it my life was a total mess. I couldn’t make ends meet. I had trouble holding a steady job. My wife (God bless her) loved me, but lost almost all respect for me. Our marriage was on its last leg. She was pregnant with our 2nd child and was considering leaving. As I said she loved me but with the tight finances, the tense atmosphere, my bad attitude, and my constant complaining it was getting to her.

I was working a job that couldn’t pay the bills because I left my job that COULD pay the bills because the supervisors “weren’t treating me right.” Truth is: they weren’t treating me right because I wasn’t doing my job right. I was too “smart” for my own good!

You can read the rest on guest post on Patheos.com.

Would LOVE to hear your thoughts and I share my life to the world :)

LL Cool J On The Benefits of Tithing

ll cool j on tithing

 

LL Cool J on tithing?

That’s right the mega star recently shared the reasons for his success namely his faith in God and tithing:

“I mentioned earlier longevity, versatility and originality. What I didn’t mention was spirituality and believing in God…Every dime I get, no matter what it is, I give 10 percent to the church. I’m a life-long tither. I believe strongly in giving. I believe you got to have that faith. And I’ve seen it work in my life, because as much as people in the world like to take credit and claim to be geniuses, at the end of the day there’s a higher power than you, and you got to answer to that power.”

This is on not the first time he has spoken on the benefits of tithing.
If LL Cool J has such great thoughts on tithing, why are so many people adverse to it?

Your thoughts…

 

My First Year Results with Tithing: A Personal Case Study (Part 4)

My tithing case study

 

So we’re finally here: the last installment. In this post we conclude my year of tithing and its results. In case you missed the first 3 installments here they are:

So without further ado let’s get to it!

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My First Year Results with Tithing: A Personal Case Study (Part 2)

My tithing case study

 

When we last spoke I shared with you that I lost my job. I was calm but devastated. I didn’t even know what to think. All I knew was: I was tired. And I had to somehow explain this to my wife.

Not fun.

I was fired on 4/12/13, I told her on 4/13/13. She did not take it well. She didn’t scream, didn’t shout, but I knew she felt it. Her only response was: “if you knew they were going to fire you, why weren’t you looking for other work?”

Are you serious?

I didn’t know they were going to fire me.

I didn’t know what was going to happen.

I kept believing that God would make a way out of no way. Well a way was made: out the front door!

On 4/14/13 I gave the message at my church. What I didn’t know that while I was praying and grappling with the message my wife was praying and grappling with God concerning our lives. According to her she was praying and crying. In essence, she said something like this: “God if You’re with us in this and if this is you show a sign please.” The funny thing is  after I preached the church raised a love offering for me. Now mind you I’m not a guest speaker, it’s my own church, but they raised  it. I guess God answered her prayer.

He was indeed in the middle of this storm with us.

The next day I was informed by wife that I (personally) was scheduled to get a  large refund check . When I heard that I could hardly stand! Thank you Jesus!

May

5/3/13–Even though I was expecting that refund check, my income had dried up, and I wasn’t sure if I was getting unemployment. On this day I finally received it.

5/13/13–I received the Federal refund.

5/14–5/15–During this time I was really fascinated regarding this “tithing subject.” Problem was, I didn’t see much info on it. Then the idea came to me: “Why don’t you build a blog about it?” So on these two days I bought the theme and domain for tithehacker.com.

June

June I have to admit was pretty uneventful. Aside from looking for work, waiting for the “windows of heaven to be opened,” worrying how I was going to pay my rent, I can’t say anything intriguing happened.

July

In July my wife received all of her tax refund and decided to take the kids to go to Jamaica on vacation.

Yes…I kid you not. She took the kids and herself on vacation.

The rest of my funds were held up as NY state wanted to verify that my daughter was my daughter. And they wanted to take their sweet…sweet…sweet time. It wouldn’t have been that much of an issue if I was working…but as you can guess…it was. It was during this time that Tithehacker was in full swing. I had a guest post on Relevant: “What Would Happen if the Church Tithed.” Which led to an interview or two.

But personally I wasn’t feeling it. More and more I was disgusted with tithing and the lack of results. Everyday I felt the need to just quit this whole “experiment.” This was evident in a very lengthy journal entry on 07/18/13:

“Ate a bit of my tithes today. Had $80 worth of tithes and spent $20 on IHOP. The meal wasn’t even worth it! I got flabbergasted (I can’t believe I used that word) with my lack of funds and the tithe was just sitting right there. Although I must admit, the mismanagement of funds was my fault. I am convinced the windows of heaven may not happen this year. It could very well be that God will continue to test me throughout the year but am seriously unsure of any floodgates opening. Not sure if I am being deceived, doubting, or ‘in the Spirit’ but this is what I believe. Still without work and its taking its toll on self esteem. Feel like less than a man and I can’t even look my own wife in the face. She is out working all day and I sit in front of a computer in an air-conditioned room. Had a conversation with God yesterday. Asked Him to intervene, reminded Him of His Promises, and thanked Him for making a way. Still believe that He is God and He can move when He is ready.”

Is that honest enough for you?! :)

Now you be honest with me: what do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts

 

 

Tithing Thanksgiving and Faith

faith2

Before I start I wanted to share a brief testimony: I recently paid off 95% of all my debt!!!! The details of this I will disclose in another post; but I did want you to know it is a GREAT feeling to get out from under that bondage. Prosperity is the next freedom I’m aiming for.

But onto the post…

We’re at the point we’re the Thanksgiving season is upon us. Yes, have fun with family, friends, and the food but don’t neglect the tremendous power you have at your disposal with thanksgiving. The Bible says:

“Let the peoples praise You [turn away from their idols] and give thanks to You, O God; let all the peoples praise and give thanks to You! The earth has yielded its harvest [in evidence of God’s approval]; God, even our own God, will bless us.” (Psalms 67:5-6 AMP)

So basically the more we thank God for what we have the more we seem to have! It’s the same principles that Jesus used with the 2 fish, 5 loaves of bread, and 5000 people. He thanked God for what He had–then what He had became more than enough!

“Yeah Mike I get that. I do that all the time. I always thank God when He blesses me.”

But what about thanking Him before He blesses you. Don’t forget what Paul said:

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 AMP)

Thanking God after you get what you ask for is common sense, thanking Him before is a sign of faith.

So here’s what you do:

  • If you’re tithing thank Him for opening the floodgates of heaven, pouring out a blessing you don’t have room enough to receive, and rebuking the devourer for your sakes.
  • If you’re sick thank Him that you’re healed.
  • If you’re impoverished thank Him that wealth and riches are in your house.
  • If a family member is acting crazy thank Him that you and your house serve the Lord.

Thank Him BEFORE YOU get it. That shows you really believe He’s going to do it.

What do you think? And oh yeah…Happy Thanksgiving!