Glad and Generous Hearts
Our married lives began when Bert was in the Marine Corps and I had just graduated from college. We soon transitioned to being graduate students. It was a challenge to make ends meet. Tithing or giving with glad and generous hearts was not part of our thinking. In 5 years, we made 9 moves, had 3 children, 1 house with mortgage, student loans, jobs and were working even harder to make ends meet. We did go to church every Sunday and always put something in the offering plate.
Tithing (giving 10% of income) came up at church and we knew this was the right thing to do. Our lives were overflowing with blessings, just no spare cash. Our pastor said you don’t have to start tithing 10% all at once. Start where you are and give what you can, just do it regularly. Give with a glad heart and don’t give God your leftovers.
God was not giving us “leftovers.” If we were going to give regularly we needed to set an amount. We looked at how much 10% of our income would be and then figured out what amount was a starting number. So, we set a goal and disciplined ourselves to give when paychecks first arrived. It didn’t take long for that to become a nonnegotiable budget item. The gap between what we were giving and that tithe number didn’t close all at once. But knowing our goal helped us move toward it
Both of us are retired now which has changed our income. Our needs also have changed and our wants are reduced, except maybe when it comes to treating grandchildren. The principle is still the same. We don’t give God leftovers and we meet our giving goal each month.
We do have glad hearts and enjoy being generous. How can we not be glad as we daily focus on our blessings? Our hearts are overflowing with God’s awesome love for us.
Bert and Jean Greener have been members of Hope Presbyterian Church for 40 years.