“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money, and I’ll tell you what they are.” (James Frick) Some deacons came to me and asked me to speak to a member who was tithing. He was not paying his bills, but his pledge was up-to-date. If you were the pastor…? The reason for prioritizing is to bring order out of potential disorder. We each have limited funds and limited time. Within those limits, we spend…wisely. ;-) Jack
FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a dilemma that would be! His management skills needed to be honed, it appears,but his heart was in the right place! Today's WW ring true, which the Bible also said, in that "where your treasure is, there will be your heart, also...".It's always a hard choice as to where you put any extra you can spare, with so many, many, worthy ministries in need, as well as family concerns! But for Christians, the tithe comes first. Many folks support other ministries, but don't support a church financially. As Hillary Clinton's latest book avers, we often face "Hard Choices"!====JACK: The dilemma comes before the tithe.
FROM TARMART REV:...sometimes there are perks in "not" being the senior pastor...wondering if the deacons were current on theirs?!====JACK: The bottom line problem...the member was right in wanting to tithe. His problem was that he overspent the rest of his income. I believe that God wants us to pay our bills...or not to buy more than we can pay for.
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Oh, so true.====JACK: The tithe is not necessarily the measure of one's faithfulness.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There are different ways to tithe. Time is worth more than money. The man might asked to mow the lawn, paint etc. the deacons could have helped him learn how to budget or give him the name of a person or company that could. Spoken like a church secretary (13 years)! ====JACK: He was faithful to God, but not to his creditors. His family suffered, because he didn't have the cash to buy them what they needed.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: That church member you talked to about his pledge was spending properly with his tithing, he just needed to reduce spending on other things so he could balance his accounts every month. It was a difficult decision for me to change from giving an "offering" to giving a "tithe". To manage, I simply adjusted our other spending. One bit of good news came in the mail last week from our bank...it was the discharge papers regarding our home mortgage. We're happy to see those payments end. Looks like I'll have to increase our tithe.====JACK: That member had a very limited income, and even without the tithe, there was hardly enough to put food on table and buy the necessities for life. I don't think that the deacons were being uncaring. Because of the tithe, they saw it as a pastoral matter.