Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It might seem paradoxical to suggest that giving your money away is good for you, but let me explain why it is. Firstly, when you tithe you are telling your money who’s boss. You are getting your priorities right—and when you do that, soon your whole world is properly ordered.

The second reason tithing is good for you is that tithing actually brings prosperity. By “prosperity” I mean an abundant life—not just financial wealth. Tithing brings an abundant life because when you give to a worthy cause you invest in the best thing in life—other people. Like all good investments, this pays dividends. The dividends are an improved sense of self worth, better relationships, and a personality that is focused on giving not getting.

The third way tithing is good for you is that it also brings increased financial blessings. Here’s how: when I tithe, I have less money. Having less money encourages me to work harder, be thriftier and prioritize my spending. These life habits eventually increase my income. That empowers me to tithe even more and the cycle continues.

Tithing is good for your family because they will see your example and know that, although you aren’t perfect, you are making an effort. Money talks, and tithing is a concrete example that you are willing to invest in your beliefs.

As you set the right priorities for your wealth, your family will thrive in an atmosphere of giving not getting. You and your family members will have a giving attitude to one another and the world. Your family will learn thrift, hard work and good stewardship from your example and this will establish the best life principles for them to enjoy a prosperous and abundant life in the future.

Tithing is not only good for you, it is good for the world. When we tithe to a church or charity we are contributing to the common good. The money is used to help the needy, the homeless, the hungry and the disadvantaged. Tithing is good for the world not only in the obvious way that funds are provided for worthy causes, but a community that is made up of generous people is a positive, caring and good community to be part of. A society of givers is healthier, more prosperous and well adjusted than a society of entitled brats—grabbers instead of givers.

Tithing is an important part of the spiritual life. From the beginning God himself is a giver. He gives generously in creation. He gives in the daily gift of life. In the fullness of time, he gave his only begotten Son who gave his own life to redeem a human race in bondage to Satan.

When we tithe, we share in that same spirit of giving, and if this habit brings an abundant life here and now, it also leads us to the eternally abundant life in heaven. Tithing doesn’t save us, but it is a way to give back in gratitude for all we have received. Sometimes people ask how much they should tithe. The traditional amount is 10% of our income. However, for some folks on a tight budget that is unrealistic. Some professionals advise a percentage that you can afford, but also a percentage that pinches—a percentage that is a sacrifice.

Everyone I know who tithes does so with a joyful heart. They have learned the simple lesson that “it is more blessed to give than receive.”

Your pastor,

Fr. Longenecker