I read a funny story recently that has something to do with how much thought we give to giving. Caskei Stinnett wrote in Speaking of Holiday:
A fellow in our office told us recently of a household incident of which he had been an innocent but perplexed spectator. Our friend had called a Venetian-blind repairman to come pick up a faulty blind, and the next morning, while the family was seated at the breakfast table, the doorbell rang. Our friend’s wife went to the door, and the man outside said, “I’m here for the Venetian blind.” Excusing herself in a preoccupied way, the wife went to the kitchen, fished a dollar from the food money, pressed it into the repairman’s hand, then gently closed the door and returned to the table. “Somebody collecting,” she explained, pouring the coffee.
I have to admit, I thought this was a pretty funny story. Yet how often do I simply give out of habit or routine? The last few weeks I have been reading a book by Doug Leblanc titled Tithing: Test Me in This. This book, which would have been one of the last books I would have ever considered reading, reminded me that often giving is something that we robotically do. Perhaps, however, giving should be something we think about as an activity, like prayer—a part of our systematic life of faith.
As a segment of his interviews of people who tithe, Leblanc writes about what Randy Alcorn said about the spiritual practice of tithing:
What I always say to people is that if you take the standard of 10 percent and say God required it of the poorest people in Old Testament Israel, and that we’re under the grace of Jesus and we have the indwelling Holy Spirit and we live in this incredibly affluent culture, do you think he would expect less of us?I have always tried to be a good giver—sometimes better, sometimes needing improvement. The last few years I have tried to move closer and closer to the tithing standard—not quite there yet . . . but moving closer and closer all the time.
I am thankful that even now God challenges us to be better and more complete believers and leads us in the spiritual paths that lead toward the Realm of God.