Monday, March 30, 2009

Tithing



We are trying to resist getting Sky +, even thought it sounds so good and easy. It would probably work out at an extra £40 a month. But not only for financial reasons are we resisting, we also want to make a statement.

Romans 12 talksabout not conforming to the standards of this world, and it got me thinking about what are the standards of this world and what ways do we conform?

This might come across as judgemental but hopefully it will get some response!

So the early church was characterised by having everything in common(Acts 2v44) and the children of Israel were told that their should be no poor among them (Deuteronomy 15v4). What does this mean for us today? How does this challenge us in how we live our lives? Most people are concerned with church attendance and daily devotions but what really matters?

If I look at my life it looks like this:

Mortgage
Car payments
Mobile phone monthly contract
Gym membership
Season ticket for Norn Iron

I wanted to determine what I need and what I want. I would also like to have an Iphone a Mac laptop and have Sky Plus, but how much more would that cost me a month?

And looking at most of my mates(and lets hope they stay friends with me!) they have most of this list as well. I wonder how many of us tithe? And should all our tithe go directly to our local Church? How much money should go to helping the poor? Is this extra than our 10%?

I was always told to put aside money for the Church and for the poor first - before all my monthly bills, as if I leave it to the end I'll probably have no money left!

So now I sit and think should I get Sky Plus or should I sponsor a child? If I do sponsor a child am I just doing this to easy my conscience? Are my motives right?

4 comments:

Charlie said...

Mate,

I told you this last night but I will also share it with the world. I recently put in Sky+ and it is fine. The channels are in different places from my old Virgin TV set up. I had Virgin put in 7 years ago so I could watch the Lions Rugby Tour. Sky+ was offered to me at a saving of around £12.50 per month. I took it.

Margaret and I do tithe as well as giving to other organisations and missionary appeals.

I also have a Mac. I have had for almost 5 years and would not change back to Windows based PC's.

Margaret and I do not live extravagantly. We do not spend excessive amounts on going out to the cinema or clubbing. We do not have any kind of monthly clothing budget. We are not in any debt outside of our mortgage. Somehow in all this we manage to save for our kids and for any rainy days we might come upon in the future.

I think we do alright in that we are never short and we regularly give of whatever we have to those who we feel led to give to. I don't feel guilty for owning a Mac laptop or for having Sky+.

If you conclude that you are better off sponsoring a child then do it and enjoy the blessing of it and if you have anything left over to pay for Sky+ at the end of the month then go for it. Until that time though, please come up to our house any time and enjoy it as much as you want.

Love you bro!

rickhill said...

yeah mate, forget sky.....

....get setanta!!!

Ashley Jackson said...

Stevie,
Hey how are ya? Hows married life?! You are on my blogroll so I stop by now and then.
I must say that I really struggle with this as well. The sense of "keeping up with Jones'" if you have that term there? Trying to fight against what my society tells me I need as opposed to what I really need or even if its wrong to want or have it.
Obviously there are people who love God and are wealthy and have all the things and still glorify God with their abundance. For me its knowing that when our tv broke that we dont NEED another one, and I should actually read more anyways, but the struggle is still there.
My pastor told me when we here on our church staff were reading Francis Chan's Crazy Love that once Francis asked if Jesus had a church in the same city, he thought it would be smaller than his. Ouch! I was challenged by it as well.
At the end of the day I suppose its about worship and what we spend most of our time on. If we have all the "things" and yet still are focused on loving God and doing what He loves then they are just things. Like in my opinion alcohol isn't wrong, but when it controls your life it is, its how one uses it. I suppose the same goes for our things and money.
Hmmm, I just preached to myself, weird when God does that. Thanks for a place to verbally process this and ignite my thoughts!
Ashley

Anonymous said...

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