What does anyone think of tithing? I’ve come to belive that the tithe is the Lord’s and the basis for anyone’s financial life as a Christian is the principle of sowing and reaping. This is expressed by St. Paul in 2 Corintians Chapter 9 vs 6 from the Catholic Living Bible as “But remember this if you give little, you will get little . A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.” This is also confirmed by Father Johh Hugo in “Applied Christianity” where he says “Not that we have to wait for eternity for returns on our sowing: God promises us a hundredfold even on earth. Accordingly, when people are in need of money or this world’s goods, the way to get them is to sow them. Suppose an institution needs money for charitable purposes and desires God’s help in its efforts; it should “sow” some money; i.e., it should give help to the poor. This is foolishness accoriding to natural reason; but it is according to the wisodm of God and the law of the supernatural life as Jesus Himself has taught”.
When I hear “tithe” I take it as “tenth”, which is what I gather is your meaning here. I think it is great. I should point out that the Church’s precept is to “provide for the material needs of the Church”. It does not require that it be a tenth of your income.
I am a convert to the faith and before becoming Catholic I never thought about the topic. After converting (almost 7 years now) I began thinking about the issue, but I felt that I didn’t have enough to tithe (or give back to God and the Church.) The more I thought about it as I began living my faith, the more I was becoming distressed. I really thought I didn’t have enough money (probably because I had too many unneccessary bills.)
After I graduated college and was married, I made serious effort to begin tithing. It was new and it hurt. I continued to persevere through it. My wife and I were both working making more than $100,000/year and I thought we didn’t have enough to tithe on our net income. We my wife became pregnant we decided through much struggle that she would stay home. We gave up cell phones, cable, internet, phone extras, etc… so she could be with Julia. Since then we have tithed on all our money and feel like 10% just isn’t enough. Once you begin to tithe, you want to tithe more.
I think tithing is beneficial for 2 reasons: 1) there are many needs throughout the world and we help in that great need 2) by giving up something that was given to us, we become less attached and more free. By giving away money to the needy and living with less, we require less. We have become better people through tithing. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
One tip Father Corapi gives about tithing: “If you think you don’t have enough to give, give away twice as much. God will reward you.”
[quote=Scott Waddell] It does not require that it be a tenth of your income.
A priest at a parish I used to go to said tithing could include your time too - maybe 5% income, 5% in service to the Church or parish.
In any case, we should tithe as nothing is really ours, it is all the Lord’s. We should give back to Him what is His out of gratitude!!
We learned real early in our marriage to tithe (10%) of our income. Sometimes it hurts because you see what else you could spend it on. But then you take a look at what you have verse others and WOW, God does reward for your generosity. It has been a tendency through our marriage that when we gave more we received more. For yourself and your parish tithing keeps things running smoothly in good times and bad. From what I have heard working in the church office is generally you tithe 10% of your money. Now some of us have our seperate causes which we donate to, which could come out of the 10%, however, to help the parish run the rule of thumb is at least 5% to the parish, and the rest to your own causes.
I give 10% of my after tax income to my local parish. I wish the church would become a bigger supporter of capitalism so then we could give even more.
Tithing should be giving a % of our time, talents and treasure. This does not all have to be given to the local parish. Volunteering at a bread line, or scout troop counts. Singing in the choir and ironing the alter clothes counts. Donating to EWTN and Red Cross counts.
That being said, it would be nice if at least half of our tithing went to our local parish and parish schools. We certainly must tithe to keep the Church running.
I think we could learn alot from our nondenomimational churches that are springing up everywhere and in grand fashion. While there is no place in the bible that I am aware of that says one must tithe 10% THEY ask that their members do thithe at least that much and the 10% of their treasure is BEFORE taxes.
We Catholics tend to hold out finances when we are less than satisfied with our parish or diocese or priest. I guess it is a way of letting them know. Especially since that is the only thing we as Cahtolics really have control of in regards to the “running” of things.
We, as Christians, as CAtholic Christians, would do ourselves a favor if we gave blindly and prayed often that our Church would be good stewards of our offerings. And give that 10%.
Of course we could use part of our time ond/or talent tithing to get on the finance council or pastoral council to offer or 2 cents worth if we must.:yup: :banghead:
After mass the other week, the parish treasurer gave us a run down on finances. I realised that, based on the average wage, families in the parish were likely giving an average of less than 1%. To be fair, a separate collection is taken for the diocese, and those figures were not given. Some folk (like me) also give to Catholic charities. All the same, there is something badly wrong when a parish community put so little value on their parish. Is the situation in the US similar to this, or are we especially bad here in Australia?
The situation in Protestant congregations varies. In my pre-conversion days, I saw some situations where a collection was taken, where a 10% pre-tax tithe was expected. Following this was the opportunity to make a “love offering” (Protestant for “bonus donation”), where a parishoner would walk to the front of the church and make a public offering. I would not call this obsession with money helpful…
To be fair, mainline Protestant chuches do not follow this practice.
The priest at our previous parish used to like to say that “God cannot be out done in generosity”. He believed in “sacrificial” giving. He told a story of how he once had only a few hundred dollars left in his account. He received a letter from a Catholic school that he attended as a child which was in need of money or it would have to close. He gave them all he had even though he still had bills to pay that month. Shortly after that he received a notice from the IRS that an error had been made and he was owed a huge refund from prior years. God had paid him back and then some. I really like that story.
I always read the tithe as a tenth of your increase. I took that as the money left after taxes and basic expenses.
I have been tithing for about 4 years now and I do have one regret about doing it: that I didn’t begin this wonderful adventure when I was a young woman just starting out in the work force! I wish someone had instructed me then about the joys of tithing a percentage of my income.
When I first began tithing, I was truly frightened and I admitted that fact to God. I reasoned that if we were then having trouble stretching our income to pay all of the bills on a monthly basis, how in the world would be pay them AND tithe along with it? That first month when I wrote out all of the weekly checks for my tithe at one time, before the other bills were even paid, I felt as though I was stepping off of a cliff. But as you know, God is so good, even when we falter. It’s not our money He needs, only our obedience and trust and He has been faithful in handing us everything we need, in abundance. As an added bonus, I have been given such a thirst to learn everything I can about my Catholic Faith.
My heart aches at the thought of how many years I spent “cheating” God out of all that I owed Him. You can bet that my own children are being taught the joys of tithing!