During my junior year of college, I once attended a local church in Newark, Delaware, in walking distance of the University of Delaware campus. Up to this point, I had never experienced a pentecostal worship service. Beside realizing I couldn’t keep a beat or stay on clap with the regular members, something unusual happened during the tithe. I have heard of 2 different offerings occasionally, one for the church and another for missions or a needy family. However, this church had the quickest counters I have ever seen, informing the pastor after the song, there wasn’t enough money collected.
Since I was a typically college student at the time, poor with a few singles and some change in my pocket, I passed on my first opportunity to give. Moments later, the pastor began preaching on Malachi 3:6-10, so I obliged giving nearly half of what I had in my wallet. Just when I thought the actual sermon would begin, this preacher began to shout, “yelling you have to give until it hurts,” like the widow in Mark 12:41-44, informing the ushers to make one more pass around the pews. Although the message he was trying to communicate was clear, this pastor’s tone turned my roommates and I off, never stepping foot into that church again.
I believe tithing is like going to church, reading the Bible or praying. If someone forces you to do any of these biblical principles, you may agree to do it, yet there is a void which exists within your heart. When you take ownership of your faith, you want to go to church, read the Bible and pray. Therefore, your heart is the key to giving, which led the widow to offer up her 2 copper coins worth a fraction of a modern penny in Mark 12. For what it is worth, my two cents are give in secret, Matthew 6:3-4 and give back to others what God has bestowed upon you, Galatians 6:9-10.
by Jay Mankus