Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tithing versus Time Donation

I read the website Need To Be Debt Free, and think they are working really hard in pursuit of getting out of debt. They made over $10k net last month in income by working 2 jobs and overtime at their primary jobs. They worked something like 12-16 hours a day. I don't know if I could make that sacrifice to get out of debt by losing time spent with my family, but I do understand.

Anyway though, they mention a lot about tithing. Any extra money they make they tithe, or give 10%. I think it's fine, but I have suggested that they donate their time in exchange of money so they can get out debt faster and thus spend more time at the church and with family. I suggested that they divide the amount of money they feel they owe by their hourly rate and help the church by making flyer, stuffing envelopes, cleaning, cutting grass, basically anything.

Sure we donate money to charities monthly. But personally I don't find it very satisfying. The bigger satisfaction comes from actually going to the food bank and physically helping out. Or going to the woman's shelter and donating goods and helping them organize the goods. Those feel so much better.

Our roommate is a devout muslim and faithfully donates Zagat (muslim tithe and it's 12.5%). Anyway he also teaches Sunday School and helps out with prayers. The Zagat is a starting place, but he gives more time because he feels it's important.

Thus I do understand being loyal and having to give God 10%, but is tithing just because you have to? If it's not just because you have to, then why aren't you going out and helping the church above and beyond the money? Why aren't you donating more time?


MEG said...

Tithing can take several forms. Some people give to charitable organizations that have little or no religious affiliation and refer to it as "tithing." That's fine, and it's very important. Others give their time, and goodness knows that's key as well.

But tithing as it's traditionally thought of is money given directly to a church or religious organiztion. And it's extremelly important, even if it isn't as fun or fulfilling as giving to a hungry child directly, or spending time with the homeless, or sponsoring a teenager to go on a mission trip.

To me it's important to give monetarily to your church--maybe not 10%, but at least as much as you receive in return. When i go to church I get free food and drinks, Bibles, literature, teaching, engaging discussions, and even entertainment. There are parties, picnics, and concerts. I am taught by people with very expensive educations (masters, PH.d's etc) who must be paid. It costs money to keep the lights on, run the plumbing, etc. All of this is funded by tithes and tithes alone.

Living Almost Large said...

I fully know what tithing is. However, I suggest instead of tithing time donation of equal value so that people in debt can get out of debt faster.

Zagat is the same thing. And so I question if you already tithe, do you do more than tithe as well?

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

I totally see what you mean...

I once volunteered for Goodwill for a number of summers, and I kept going back because they said: We don't need any more clothes, donations or money. What we need is PEOPLE, and their TIME to go through and sort all of this stuff, tag it, and throw it on the racks...!!!

Same sort of idea I suppose.