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Giving For Beginners
…and [Melchizedek, the priest of God Most High] blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. “And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Some time ago I was interviewing a man in full-time ministry who teaches congregations to give generously. He has helped over 120 churches, large and small. It is safe to say he’d had a significant impact with lives eternally. But where did he start? How did he begin?
Originally, he had a secular career in sports, first as a promising young athlete, then as a coach. As God began to call him to ministry, he asked his pastor for guidance. The pastor very wisely replied, “Before you can ask others to give, you need first to be giving generously yourself.”
I love those godly pastors, don’t you? In Genesis 14, God instructs Abram to give 10% (tithe) of everything he has unto the Lord. There are countless excellent teachings in Christendom today regarding tithing, first fruits, and giving generously—a treatise on the subject is not my intent here. What I want you to consider is ‘beginning with a tenth’ as a baseline of your generosity.
- Try giving 10% of your time in prayer and Bible study to the Lord. That’s 2.4 hours per day, a tad shy of 17 hours per week. Then watch how the rest of your time becomes more efficient.
- Total your weekly gross income from every source and then give 10% of that number to your church.
- Or try picking up an extra chore your spouse, your parent(s) or sibling would otherwise have to do every week ...
- (If you’re not married) how about 4 extra hours at work for your employer.
Remember, this is just your baseline or beginning point. Be creative. Search out ways to live a 10% lifestyle. Caution: Don’t get legalistic or dogmatic in this. Keep it fun; but keep the intent serious.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
List five creative ways you have been able to live out your 10% lifestyle. Share them below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.