Douglas Leblanc in his recent book Tithing, Test Me In This visits the lives of people throughout the United States from various religious backgrounds and shares their stories of tithing. In a day when newspaper articles print the giving habits of the wealthy people in our country and reveal just how little they give, it is refreshing to see how others believe in giving away what has been given to them. The belief behind these active and generous givers is that what they have is a gift of God and owned by God so they are under obligation to pass it along
Tithing has often been described as giving 10% of our net income to our local church. However in the stories of Tithing we these words to describe tithing: surrender and commitment and I totally agree. In each story we see that tithing is a symptom of a life that is committed to the work of the church. None of the lives that were examined limit their giving to only 10%.
We find throughout the pages of the book that the tithing experience was an act that was modeled and passed down from generations before. It also became evident that this practice would be passed on to the next generation by these active participants.
Another point that is seen in every story can be captured in this statement: ‘when we tithe, the blessings keep flowing in faster than we can bail them out again.’ You see these tithers believe God meets their needs, whether they are living on 90%, 75% or 100% of what they make. In fact many of the people interviewed for this book believe:
“if you call yourself a Christian then the tithe is the starting point…”
“your money is where your faith hits the road.”
There is still another reoccurring thought: God supplies more money to give when you commit and follow through with that commitment.
I was pleasantly surprised reading this book to see that people from all religious backgrounds understand the biblical principle of tithe. I was disappointed that some feel that the tithe can be given to various non-profit organizations and not the local church. I would disagree with this practice. To me the principle of tithing is a one that needs to be exercised through the local church. We as givers then have the right to hold the church accountable for how those tithes are used.
Finally, tithing is a reflection of our love for God and that is what we see in Tithing…Test Me In This. It seems evident in every story that Douglas Leblanc shares that the reason for giving is love.