IS YOUR LIFE A TITHE? OR IS IT A LIVING, WILLING SACRIFICE?
This is not about money. Usually as soon as people hear the word tithe, they groan and turn a deaf ear. No, this is about so much more—your life.
One day at work while shoveling snow for our customers I was thinking about how tired my muscles were. They were burning and had that tingling sensation you experience when you’re running a race. That feeling when your arms and legs feel like gelatin and you think you can’t go another step. At that moment you face a choice—stop—when it starts to hurt, OR, square your shoulders, push through, and despite the pain—make the sacrifice.
I pushed through and within minutes—instead of feeling faint—I felt accomplishment and a renewed surge of energy. It was almost exhilarating. But this kind of feeling and choices surround us everyday and in countless situations of ordinary life.
In your life do you tithe—or sacrifice?
A tithe is good and accomplishes some, but a sacrifice really hurts and you have to dig deep within to push forward and accomplish the greater goal.
Barry and I have learned that the sacrifice of life is rewarding indeed.
- Do you give until it hurts?
- Do you give even if it is inconvenient or takes you out of your comfort zone?
- Do you give even when it feels like it is “costing” you too much?
- Do you give even when you feel all alone and other support networks are not there?
- Do you give even when it feels like you are a salmon trying to go upstream?
- Do you place the needs of others above your own needs?
Do you give even if it hurts?
Barry and I have dedicated our home and lives to His Service and we feel privileged that Christ allows us to live in corners of the house. There have been times when the need of a family far surpasses our need for the same item. We’ve given away our own personal pieces of furniture and items because we gauged someone’s need as greater than us holding onto our couch(es), spare beds, etc.
Just last year, a brand new pair of winter boots I had gotten for myself, I gave away to a woman who was in desperate need of a pair. I still had a pair, although with holes and not keeping my feet dry, were keeping my feet drier than her feet were by trying to walk in the snow in running shoes. I was willing to sacrifice my need for dry feet to put the needs of someone else above my own—her need was greater.
Currently, as we deal with the ongoing storage issues of donations—we have sacrificed our own personal living spaces in our home to provide urgently needed space for donations to pile up. Donations of household items needed by thousands of families in our community. So we sacrifice—it has been several years since we’ve been able to eat a meal at our kitchen table as it is the area where dirty items sit waiting to be washed, or small appliances that need to be tested to ensure they work and are safe for use—accumulate. Or our couch—where yarn for our knitter volunteers is available, or material to sew urgently needed crib sheets. We’ve sacrificed our personal living space to do God’s work of demonstrating His Love through the act of giving humanitarian aid to our community through household items.
Words of Wisdom
Some words of wisdom and encouragement from Romans 12 from the Amplified Version read as follows:
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of (all) the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies (presenting all your members and faculties) as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is our reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them:
- (He whose gift is) prophesy (let him prophesy) according to the proportion of his faith;
- (he whose gift is) practical service, let him give himself to serving;
- he who teaches, to his teaching;
- he who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation;
- he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality;
- he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind;
- he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.
Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.”
Wow, that verse contains a lot !!
Make a decisive dedication of your bodies as a living sacrifice—which is a reasonable, rational and intelligent service and personal worship.
Yes, by being a living, breathing, walking sacrifice of your whole being and talents for the Lord—you are worshiping Him. It is a conscious decision—a choice. Even in this area of giving of our lives—God gives us the gift of free will—we can choose—to offer our lives as a tithe or a willing, living sacrifice.
It is not mere duty or responsibility, a job, a drudgery. NO, it should be what makes you feel alive !!
So how can you show your life sacrifice in worship?
- Does God prophesy through you? Then prophesy.
- Do you have the gift of serving? How can you serve others around you?
- Do you have the gift of teaching? How about teaching simple cooking or sewing to young ladies in your community?
- Do you have the gift of encouraging others? Encourage! Look around you, even a kind word to a teller at the store can brighten their whole day!
- Do you have the gift of financial abundance? How are you using that to further the Kingdom of God? Do you tithe (10%) or do you give it liberally?
- Do you have the gift of generosity in other areas? Then give—whether it is your time, your ear, your wisdom, or your possessions.
- Do you have the gift of offering humanitarian aid and service to others? Then help—with zeal !!
- Do you have the gift of acts of mercy or compassion? Then give—cheerfully.
- Do you give your life cheerfully? God loves the cheerful giver !!
Giving in this manner of cheerfulness makes your initial sacrifice—although hard and it hurts to get started—soon will turn to joy and increased energy and renewed vigor to live !! And not only will your life be changed—so will the lives you come into contact with daily—and as those lives change, so will others. A ripple, a wave, as a movement of love and compassion spreads across our lives and land.
So today will your life be a tithe or a willing, living sacrifice? The choice is yours.