Listening to the local Moody Radio broadcast this week during their fundraising time, I heard something that just made me go “WOW, never thought of it like that”. Of course they are totally dependent on donations to run their public broadcasting ministry, but still … wow. One of them said, “Jesus is not worth a dime to many people.”
Not worth a dime. We use that phrase in reference to slackers or a product that does not measure up. There is another phrase as well, “not worth a plug nickel”, which of course refers to a “slug” or fake coin the size of a nickel. And still another Southernism, “not worth the powder and lead to blow it/him up.” We generally use all three phrases for worthlessness. When I heard them say, “Jesus is not worth a dime”, I turned up the volume to get the context.
Are you in effect saying to Jesus He is worthless with your giving of yourself, money, time and talents?
One thin dime, 10 cents, $0.10 out of every dollar. Basically, they were saying if you had a dollar you would not give Jesus a dime of it … not worth a dime. People hoard their money, their time and their talents. Sometimes I wonder what we are saving up for … tomorrow is not ours, not even the rest of the day.
For someone who grew up with tithing, I get it. I understand keeping 90% and giving back 10% of your money, time and talent. But, when you put it like that … when you realize that you basically are saying to Jesus, “you are not worth a dime” that really just overwhelms me. We do the same thing with our time and talent … 1 minute, 2 minutes (or NONE) spent in His word? Time spent in His house worshiping? Time given to help out others and the church? How much time did you spend on FB, online shopping … but, you never have the time for Him?
I do believe tithing of your monies, time and talent is a generational thing. And although I do not have any studies to prove it, I would be more than willing to believe that givers beget givers. We learn from our parents and we pass on to our children our habits, practices, theologies. I think we really need to put more meat into our “passing on” and make sure we teach WHY and WHO we tithe our monies, time and talent. I went over how to teach your children about tithe in an earlier post, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. It SHOULD NOT BE A ritual to practice or a good habit. There is a reason for tithing and giving of offerings (what we give above 10%). I remember my Mom and Dad always saying, “you cannot out-give God”.
Malachi 3:10(ESV) “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Tithe was the first check Mom wrote. They were involved in so many ministries at the church and in the community. I think we practically lived at the church. The joke was we were there every time the doors opened. It was understood that not giving back to God was treating Him shamefully. There are so many great stories of men and women who “get it”. I grew up hearing about such men and women of God. I think the most memorable one was R. G. LeTourneau. He gave 90 percent of his income to the Lord. He said, “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back to me – but God has a bigger shovel.” (He invented earth-moving equipment).
The Bible says:
Malachi 3:8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated Me! “But you ask, ‘What do You mean? When did we ever cheat You?’ “You have cheated Me of the tithes and offerings due to Me.”