As Christians we are asked by God to lead a life of sacrifice. Now that doesn't mean that he wants us to give up everything we own or give up all our time. Too many times, I feel that Christians try to give way too much of their time or money to their Church. The Bible makes it very clear to it's readers that God should always come first in your life, but at the same time it stresses the importance of family. There have been many times in my life that my wife or child has been sick and I've had to miss church or church events because of it. The first reaction my mind makes is that I'm going to miss out on the events. That in itself is a selfish thought. I'm thinking about myself and pleasing myself and I'm putting myself before my family. In that situation, I prayed about it and it was very clear that God wanted me to stay home and take care of my family. There are always alternatives that you can do when this situation arrises. In my case, when my child and wife were sleeping, I read my Bible and did a Bible study.
Dealing with money now... We as Christians can often get caught up in how much we give to our Church. God directs us in the Bible that we are to give 10% of what we make to him. I also believe that your time and efforts can be used as tithes. In the summer time, I mow the Church lawn once a week. All in all I do this about 25-30 times a year. This takes about an hour to do after all the trimming and raking. I use this as part of my tithe because I don't get paid for it. I just do it. My wife and I are young and have a family and we don't have enough money to give 10% of our income a month. For us that comes to about $600 a month. I can honestly say that we darn near break even each month. As you all know with kids and vehicles, something always breaks or breaks down! We still give weekly to our Church but it's not %10. It's probably closer to 2 or 3% of what we make. Many would argue that this is selfish and that I'm not trusting God's word that he'll take care of us. That is not true. I tithe in another way. I think all Christians can do this. Doing things for others or for your Church is a sacrifice you are making. You are sacrificing your time with your family or friends to do something for God. God recognizes that and he greatly appreciates it. In a more general view, I guess you could say that your weekly tithe that the Church recieves could be going to the Lawn mowerer guy, instead in my case, I just do the mowing.
I try to do all things in Christ who strenghtens me! God Bless and Have a GOOD week!