Recently a man who attends The Man in the Mirror Bible Study every Friday online asked a question about tithing that I suspect a lot of men wonder about. So with his permission, here's our exchange.
Abe: I have a question about tithing. I have not treated God's money very well over my life. I am 52, married five years and have 3 very young children.
Unfortunately, I am embarrassed to say we have no savings and about $38,000 in debt outside our condo mortgage. About $12,000 of that is credit cards, $10,000 is student loans, and $15,000 is from a friend who loaned me money for the condo. We had been giving 5-7% of our net income until this year when we upped it to 10%. If we did not tithe we could put that money to our credit cards and pay them off much sooner.
You can see them sitting next to you at any traffic light in America. The pace has numbed their senses. They don't get enough rest. They're always on the fly. They rarely reflect. They do not often sense the presence of God.
Ironically, they spend decades getting what they want, only to find out it doesn't make them happy. They have success but no peace, things but no pleasure, meaningful work but no gratitude for it, money but no vision to serve others, and relationships but no time to enjoy them. They are unbalanced--unstable, actually--and high risk to themselves and their families.
Hope you're having a great summer!
The vision--why we exist--is "for every church to disciple every man." The mission--what we do--is "to help churches more effectively disciple men."
Two years ago, after three weeks of prayer with some of our staff also fasting, we believed God was calling our fifteen staff to undertake the audacious task of recruiting 330 Area Directors to consult with, train, and resource 33,000 churches to evangelize and disciple millions of men.
After starting as a Bible study in a bar in 1986, we've grown to help 35,000 churches impact 12,000,000 men. That's a lot. But imagine how many more men can be reached for Jesus with 330 men (compared to fifteen of us) working directly with churches in local communities.
Here's a report card on the initiative....