This is a topic I have been thinking about for a long time. I have to confess, although we assist at Mass on Sundays and follow Church teaching... we are not perfect. Disclaimer: I should say, I am not perfect, as I am the one responsible for handling our family finances (at least balancing the budget and writing the checks). I contribute financially to the needs of the Church, but usually it is whatever I have left over or available at the time, and is never painful to throw into the pot, so to speak. I have been very stingy in this department! This is not something I am proud of, and I am admitting that this is a personal weakness. I have always been in somewhat of an awe for others who can tithe, but thought "this is not for me..." We have 2 kids to pay for day care, one on the way, and a boat load of bills, barely scraping by as it is. However, it is the New Year... a co-worker whom I respect tithes. I recently learned that a relative whom I respect, tithes, and this really got me thinking that I need to stretch myself in this area. I want to try it. God deserves this, and I want to do it. We don't even have enough money to pay the credit card bill this month, but I tried not to think too hard about it as I wrote out the check for 10% of my last paycheck 2 days ago. Now I have spent many hours searching on the Internet for personal testimonies on tithing and for other perspectives on such questions as: Is it biblical? (It is not required in our Church.) Is it worthwhile? Does one tithe 10% off of their Gross Income or Net Income? Does one tithe off of their tax refund? Is it ridiculous to tithe when you are in debt or do not have an emergency fund? So much controversy and so many opinions. I have no doubt I will be lambasted by certain crowds for going about this endeavour in the way that I am, however, coming from someone that didn't even come close to offering .05% of my income last year, this is a major decision and I want to write about it. Frankly, the prospect of doing this for an entire year scares the hell out of me! I hope I can do it. I think it will have to be a week by week thing. One step at a time.
If there is anyone out there, I am so very interested in hearing your story about When and Why you decided to start tithing! How do you personally go about doing it? What have you gained spiritually from it? Or do you think it is just plain crazy?
The average Catholic gives 1.04% of their income for all charitable causes. I am seeing many statististics and studies hovering around this number (give or take a 1/2 percentage or so.)
What are your thoughts on tithing?