Luke 21:1-4Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, "The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all!"
How much should we give each week to our Church? What percentage of our earnings should we give over to the Church for its use? Do we follow the Old Testament and give up a tithe of what we posses or earn? Or do we use some complex formula to calculate how much of the 10% we should give after we have done various volunteer work and monies to other causes?
Regular readers will possibly by now have worked out that legalism (here and here) is something I believe to be in conflict with what Jesus taught us. I find time and again that when people are resorting to legalism they are in reality trying to push their own point and agenda and trying to use God and His word to justify it.
Weighing in on a discussion on tithing, I believe that God is much happier with a gift willingly given and willingly sacrificed up to Him rather than a perfect 10% grudgingly given. What we really should be talking about is not how much we are giving materially but how much we have submitted to God over the whole spectrum of our being. We are giving of our time and talents too and we are surely all aiming towards giving our lives completely to God and His works.
This is not a calculation as we would do for our tax, God is not asking that we give a total of 10%, neither is he asking that we give only 10%. God wants, I believe, us to want to give Him all we can, but I also believe that He knows the very detail of our lives and the circumstances we have. God knows what we give in all things He knows what we surrender to Him that can not be measured too. Being legalistic on this subject is as I have already said, in my opinion against what Jesus taught us. Are we going to be like the rich people, giving what the Law required, giving ostentatiously and very publicly, or should we be as Christ taught and give what we can. Did Christ not say that the greatest gift in this story was that of the widow?