Dear Salvation Army, Short Changing Tithe?

This is a pondering that attempts to meddle – I’m sorry.
I was asked by one of our readers to do a pondering on this topic…it’s a good one.  It is a rather relevant one too, isn’t it?  If we were truly honest with ourselves (and no one else) – we might admit that there are times when we take our resources and our blessings for granted.

Individually 
powerballIn a world, currently that is consumed with who will win the next Powerball lottery jackpot, we don’t often fathom what we already have to be a true blessing…because we crave more.

I do not mean to step on anyone’s toes today, any more than I am already stepping heavily upon my own – and this hurts.  But I can confess that I have, at times, neglected to give the Lord the best…instead I’ve given Him what’s left.  Why would we do such a thing? How could we neglect the Author of Life our first fruits?   Life does happen.  Bills sometimes pile up.  Children, like vacuums, suck the dollars right out of your wallet.  But are those just excuses sometimes?  Am I just attempting to rationalize my spending or my haphazard, inconsistent giving?  -Yes.  tithe

You might say that I’m being hard on myself…perhaps I am.  But who ought to take responsibility for what we do or don’t do?  Will anyone else take that blame from me?  Is it someone else’s fault when I short change God with my tithes of time, talent and treasure? Of course not.

Corporately
I am not shifting blame, please don’t take it that way.
I wonder sometimes if, as leaders, we set the bar higher for others and yet that bar suddenly doesn’t apply to us?  Does this happen?  Are there times (in any organization and/or church) when leadership decides these are the guidelines for those under them, but those same guidelines do not apply to the administrators of those same guidelines?  Do double standards apply to financial giving from Administration to Subordinates?  Does this happen from IHQ/THQ/DHQ/Corps?  I certainly hope not, this is not necessarily my experience.
trim
Where does financial accountability play into this?
How important is it to be consistent from Administration all the way down to volunteer and soldier/adherent/attendee?

Let me give you my opinion on this subject – Accountability matters from the top down, and from the down to the top.  We must be accountable with the big things, we must also be accountable with the small things regardless of rank or lack there of.

Back To You And Me
We can not, however,  afford to look over the fence at anyone else other than ourselves when it comes to being good stewards of the things God has given to us to take care of.  We are accountable first to God, then to those He has placed above us.  What we do with our time, talent and treasure matters.  How we spend any of that – matters.  Who we are in and out of church or the office – matters.  There isn’t a time clock that we sluggishly punch each day then get home and take off our masks to become someone else.  We are His – that should be our identity.

Questions to Ponder:
I find it very interesting that other “churches” (and I know we’re not specifically a church) support the ministries they do through tithing…It is equally interesting that most Salvation Army corps cannot fully support the ministries they do in their communities, let alone World Services through tithing alone…is that a good thing or bad thing?   Is it because many of our corps members do not have the financial resources to consistently tithe?  (this could very well be the case)

Have I, or am I (on a personal level) short changing God in my tithing?
Am I building MY kingdom here with stuff, trophies of my accomplishments, hoarding my resources…is this who I am?
Are there areas of my life where self-denial is lacking?
Can I be honest with myself and with God when it comes to my tithing habits?
Are there other places in the world that could use my financial contributions?
Do I give consistently to World Services?
Do I give consistently to my Corps?
Do I care about poverty in my world?  What can I do to help?
Do my contributions matter?
Am I giving enough?  Is it Net or Gross Pay?

There is much to discover and ponder in this topic today…I hope the shoe prints on our toes fade…then again, maybe not.

Something more to for us to ponder today!

Disclaimer: The opinions and thoughts expressed in Pastorsponderings.org are the expressed opinions and thoughts of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Salvation Army.  

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6 Comments

  1. I have found that when we give God our tithes, that He never fails to provide our needs! Even now being retired and on a limited income, when we’re faithful with our giving, He is faithful to provide for us!

    Keep in mind that we have the responsibility to not spend more because we “want” some things!

    You cannot out give God!

  2. Loved your article above and totally agree with Mjr Mickey Hale (R). It comes down to trust. Trust in who our provider is. As Brian Kluth says ‘Our provider is not the company we work for and who pay us. Our Provider is God Himself!’ He owns everything in the world and wants to bless us, His people. His resources are unlimited!!! All we have to do is, as the song says, ‘Trust and obey’! God will and does provide – that is my experience.
    Debbie Hindle
    Generous Life Coach NSW Australia
    For The Salvation Army

  3. We had a pastor friend who told us that his members didnotgive 10% and he was going to preach on that topic. Being the direct person that I am, I asked, do you give at least 10%, he said no. My reply was, then your people will not give more than they are.
    Even though our people do not see what we give, God does, and they somehow can sense our lack of commitment. We give our tithe every week even though our pay is bi-weekly because it is important to model regular giving.

  4. Tithing literally means 10%. I feel that as a Christian, a Salvationist, this is s minimum. I know from first hand experience, if one is faithful in giving, God blesses in times of need. There was a period where I was unemoloyed, the first thing that crossed my mind, save the “tithing money” to pay bills. We didn’t and God was faithful in helping us meet ALL bills and debts. Now, I have set up automatic tithe payment with my bank. My returement check comes in, the FIRST and I mean FIRST auto “payment” out is my tithing amount to the Corps. What I put in the plate Sundays is offering, World Services, special programs, whatever the Lord leads. I cannot outgive God. He blesses me more now than ever. He will take care of us and folks, it’s only money, what better was to spend it but by giving it to the Lord so he can use it and bless us!

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