"HONESTLY MARK, KNOW ONE EVER ASKED."
I have worked with and interviewed people from many different socio-economic backgrounds. One of the most delightful couples I interviewed was Carl & Janice. I started by asking them to tell me about their views and beliefs on tithing. I had an advantage in the question since I had reviewed their tax returns for many years and knew that they were always giving at least 10%. They then told a very deep and moving story.
They are “cradle” Catholics and grew up in a predominantly Catholic community. Before they could get married their priest required that they meet with him to get a sound foundation on the institution of marriage and how it relates to the church. One of the things he told them was that they must tithe. That is, at least 10% of everything they made should be given to the church for God’s work.
He told them that if they ever did not have food or utilities or a roof over their head, that they could come to him and he would make sure their needs would be met. He specifically told them that he couldn’t help if they needed to make a boat payment.. that he would make sure only their needs, not wants, were met.
Several years later, Carl was hurt in a tragic accident and was unable to work or farm. They had no means of financial help, and given the extent of his injuries, they had trouble even taking care of themselves physically. Then the community showed up.
Periodically there was money anonymously deposited into their accounts. Their livestock was taken care of. The crops planted and harvested and every need and even some wants were met!
This is, of course, a wonderful story of transformational giving and the power of seeing beyond your own needs and helping others. Most importantly it reinforced their belief in giving. They said they couldn’t imagine being robbed of the opportunity to give and make a difference in other people’s lives.
At this point, knowing how deeply rooted their desire to give at least 10% back, I asked them why they hadn’t included the church or community in their Will. J blinked and it was as if a light bulb went on and she said,
"WELL, I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. NO ONE EVER TOLD ME I COULD."
Well if you have read this far, may I please take that last obstacle away from you. You can. It will not affect your current lifestyle and if done well, it will increase either your standard of living or your standard of giving depending on how you chose. In addition to that you can continue to pay forward the blessing that you have received to people, causes and institutions that you have your own lifeprints on.