Why Should I Care About Stewardship?
Giving is an important part of our faith journey. A significant amount of scripture addresses the role of money in our lives and the importance of giving. Did you know that, with the exception of love, the topic Jesus teaches more about in the gospels is not on sin or grace, but on money? Nearly two-thirds of the parables and teachings of Jesus have a connection to money!
It is important to understand the Biblical principles of giving and the way that God calls us to use what has been entrusted to our care. As a people of faith, we return to God a portion of our blessings – our tithe, gifts and offerings. In addition to these blessings, we add the gifts of our time, talents, prayers and service to others. When we give, we will grow closer in our personal relationship with God and in our faith.
How much should you give? The amount you give is a decision that is made between you and God. In the Old Testament, God has set the standard of 10%. In the New Testament, Jesus wants you to sell everything and give it away! All believers need to give back a percentage of their earnings; those who are more blessed should give back more. If you are not able to tithe 10%, consider beginning at a 5% or a 3% level, and then increase one percent a year until you reach a full tithe. You will be surprised; when you give your ‘first fruits’ to God, you may have more money remaining than you thought!
The following chart illustrates tithing amounts for different GROSS income (before taxes) levels – remember, God expects the “first fruit.” May we always give joyfully, faithfully and to the Glory of God!