“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV)
“I’ll start tithing when I’m older.”
“I can’t give that much. My donation probably wouldn’t even matter.”
“I would love to give to the church, but I just don’t have any money to spare right now.”
If you have ever caught yourself thinking like this, you are not alone. When money is tight, it can be hard to budget money to give. Tithing seems like a luxury only the wealthy can afford.
We are not the first generation to face this problem. Even in Biblical times, there were people who felt like they were too poor to be a good steward. Thankfully, Jesus spoke to them and gave them some great advice that can still apply to us today.
The story takes place at the church temple where Jesus and his disciples witness a poor widow and a group of rich people presenting their offerings. As Luke tells it, “Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
This story tells us something very important about Jesus’ attitude on stewardship: He cares much more about why we give than how much we give. When it comes to giving, bigger is not always better. Instead, Jesus preaches time and time again about proportional giving, giving as much as your current income allows. That’s why a tithe is a percentage (10%) not a standard amount. Maybe for you, that’s $20, $200, or $2000. Stewardship is going to look different for everyone. Jesus’ philosophy is simple: Give faithfully and give joyfully!
So next time the offering comes around, remember… You are never too poor or too young to practice good stewardship!
This article should not be considered legal, tax, or financial advice. You may wish to consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual financial situation.