I got an early lesson in generosity, and how the Lord blesses it, from the priest I mentioned in the previous chapter, a memory that I have recalled only in the last few years. He was quite simply the most generous person I have ever met. He seemed continually to be giving things away. He gave away his money, his clothes, even, one day, his car. But he never wanted for anything. God provided. People were always giving things to him. It's hard ot beat a deal like that.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating we make a 'deal' with God. Nor do I recommend we approach the tithe with the notion of getting something out of it. I'm just plugging something I believe God wants his people to do. To me, it's a matter of obedience, plain and simple.
“If we decide to go for it, where should our money go? That, I think, is a matter between each person and God. Certainly, the body to which we belong, for most of us our parish, should come in for a good part of it. But, basically, we should consult him. We might tell him we'll send it wherever he says. In one way or other, he'll get through to us and make his will known.”
For the neophyte, one who has never tithed, the full ten percent might represent too drastic a move to start with. Why not set a lower rate and gradually work up? But the important thing is to start.
Tithing will never make us rich. The Lord is not into that kind of thing, I don't think. But he is serious about taking care of his own.
Getting into the tithe means making a fairly radical response to the gospel. But, I'm becoming convinced more and more that it's the radical stuff that works best. God likes it. He honours it. I know from experience it works. It works for him and his kingdom and it works for me.
If you're not already at it, why not take a deep breath and give it a try?