The Importance of Giving

If you recall from my most recent net worth update, I planned on beginning my tithe to my parish this month. In fact, tithing was really high up on my financial goals (number 4 to be exact). Well, I finally began my weekly donations yesterday! For those who don’t know, to tithe means to pay one tenth (or 10%) of your income to an organization – usually a church or other religious organization.

Four goals down!! Yay!!

Now, you’re probably wondering why tithing is such a priority to me. Why isn’t paying off my student loans or my car loan  more important than giving to my church? Why give 10% when I can spend that 10% on clothes, food, entertainment?

Well, for me, giving is the number one reason why I want to be rich.

I want to be rich because I want to make sure that my money is going to the right places. And for me, that’s my parish. I can go on and on about how my parish plays a huge part in who I am, but I’ll save that for another day 🙂 But for right now, I want to share why the act of giving – even if it’s not to a church – is so important and why we all should give.

Now, chances are that if you’re able to read this (whether on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device), you are blessed. You most likely have a roof over your head, you have a nice hot meal 3 times a day, and/or you might have a $20 bill in your wallet at the moment. Every day you wake up, have a nice hot shower, try to decide what to wear out of all the clothes in your closet, go to work to earn a living, and drive back home in your car. You may be in consumer debt, you might owe thousands on your student loans or car loans, and you might be underwater on your mortgage, but the truth is you’re getting by.

Many people in the U.S. and all around the world struggle to even eat one meal a day. They walk around with no shoes, trying to earn a decent wage, but get treated terribly at their places of work – if they even have a job.

The truth is I’m not a millionaire, not even close. And you most likely aren’t one, either. But whether you’re a fellow thousandaire, millionaire, or even billionaire, you have a whole lot more than the majority of people in this world.

Many people believe that money is power. And to all my Spiderman fans out there, I’m thinking of the famous quote from Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility“. We have power (money) and now we have a responsibility to each other, especially to those who don’t have access to the things we take for granted – running water, food, work, etc.

And to all my Jesus fans out there – the above saying is only a variation of His words “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:48)

So yes, I’m in tons of debt. Yes, my emergency fund is only at $1,000. But compared with many people all over the world, I’m blessed and I’m called to share what is my own. And so are you.

AMDG,
Lisa

10 Comments

  1. Brian @ Luke1428 July 19, 2013

    Cool Lisa! The blessings you receive from tithing will be worth it. It may take longer to get out of debt but your heart will be right before God if He has convicted you on this matter. Our giving to our church is the first line of our budget. We do it before anything else.

    Reply
    • Lisa E. July 19, 2013

      Hi Brian!

      Thanks for the support. I was extremely happy to reach this point in my finances where I can finally give back to my church! God is so good and He deserves much more than my 10%, but it’s definitely a start 🙂

      Reply
  2. Budget and the Beach July 19, 2013

    I can understand wanting to give when something is very important in your life. But I also do slightly agree with Nick that it sounds like you have a lot of debt to tackle. Just like in the airplanes when they talk about the oxygen mask…you need to put it on yourself first before assisting others. Is there another way you can help your church? Volunteer time? For me that’s all I can give right now is my time. Just a thought!

    Reply
    • Lisa E. July 19, 2013

      I have considered volunteering, and I actually am very active in my parish’s young adult and youth ministries! 🙂

      I guess I just look to the parable of the widow’s offering – when she gave only two coins to the church, but Jesus said she had given more than what all the wealthy have given since those two coins were practically all she had.

      I’m not saying I’m giving everything. 10% of my salary is just a portion of what I have. And if I were to give up anything in my budget, it would be spending frivolously, not giving.

      Sure, that 10% isn’t sitting in a CD or paying off my CC debt, but I know that it helps the people in my ministries and my parish, and I think that’s greater than any interest I can be gaining on it.

      Thanks for stopping by Tonya!

      Reply
  3. Glad to hear that you are starting to tithe. I was brought up to be thankful for getting and that I needed to pay tithes first and foremost.

    While I do agree with Nick in that I see people be stupid about tithing to these churches in hopes of getting rich. Thats not the purpose you are suppose to give and give freely whatever you have.

    To each his/her own but if your lights are about to get turned off or you don’t have food don’t give it to someone else. I also think the purpose is for people to be selective about what they spend money one.

    We do tithe, savings, etc then look to see what bills we can afford. I find by determining our budget before spending on items and seeing what is left we have money to save and tithe and do other things.

    Reply
    • Lisa E. July 16, 2013

      Hi Thomas! Thanks for the comment!

      I’m glad I started tithing, as well! 🙂

      If someone were struggling i.e. poor, homeless, living paycheck to paycheck, I wouldn’t recommend giving, either. And I agree, tithing makes you more aware of your situation and helps you prioritize where your money is going.

      Reply
  4. Pretired Nick July 16, 2013

    Ugh, tithing. I never question anyone’s religion, but it is sad to me watching very wealthy organizations use religion, guilt and emotion to take money from people who can’t afford it. I’d love to see you tackle your debt and then if you want to tithe, allocate your 10% to a worthy charity, not to the administration of a large organization that already operates tax-free. But that’s just me!

    Reply
    • Lisa E. July 16, 2013

      I’d love to see me tackle my debt, too! But the truth is, I’d rather do both (get rid of debt AND give) than wait to give.

      As far as a worthy charity, I believe my church is more than worthy. You’re right, they operate tax-free. But I know that the money goes not only to administrative costs, but also to their K-8 school (of which I am an alumnus), support for youth and young adult ministries (of which I am a member), local charities, and our weekly food donations go to our local food bank.

      I definitely understand your opinion, though. Thanks for the comment, Nick!

      Reply
    • femmefrugality July 19, 2013

      This is beautiful! My mom does this for her church…even when times are super tight. For her it’s a demonstration of faith.

      I understand what Nick is saying, too. When I found out some of the political campaigns my former church was waging, it made me sick that my tithing had been helping fund it. I stopped immediately. I think it’s about identifying with your church and the things it does with your money. If you don’t have a church that does that, charity’s another great option!

      Reply
    • Lisa E. July 19, 2013

      My faith definitely plays a huge part in why I give. I also think it’s important to give even when you’re not necessarily religious, too! It doesn’t have to be a church – it can be a local homeless shelter or food bank. Charities are great, too, but you definitely need to look into where your money is really going – you don’t want your money to end up supporting things that you don’t!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Reply

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