This post is part 3 of a 3-part series on tithing and giving:
- Why the Apostles Didn’t Teach Tithing (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About It)
- Why Your Church Does Teach Tithing (Any Why You Sometimes Feel Guilty About It)
- What Jesus & His Apostles Taught About Giving (And How You Can Find Joy in It)
If you’re average like me you’re starting to think about some new goals and maybe some outrageous hopes for the year. Perhaps you’re thinking about new financial goals for earning, saving, spending and giving. If so, this final post in my series on tithing might come in handy.
Part 1 – Why the Apostles Didn’t Teach Tithing (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About It) asks why the Apostles never mentioned tithing even though they touched on every other subject necessary for the life of the Church including money matters like stewardship, charity, and supporting the teaching ministry of the gospel.
Part 2 – Why Your Church Does Teach Tithing (And Why You Sometimes Feel Guilty About It) asks why so many churches treat tithing like it’s the 11th commandment, or even emphasize it more than the 10 Commandments.
The gospel is the good news that you needn’t be anxious about
earning God’s love and acceptance; Christ earned it for you.
gos•pel (gäs′-pǝl) n., [from Old English gōdspel (translation of Late Latin evangelium), from gōd good + spell tale]
1. A tired, churchy-sounding word that is often misused, neglected, under-appreciated, and thus of ambiguous meaning to many people.
2. A noun found 77 times in the New Testament, sometimes translated “good news” and frequently used with qualifiers, e.g. “the gospel of Jesus Christ”, …of God”, …of the kingdom”.
3. The core of Jesus’ teaching; the love-inspired, joy-generating, peace-declaring good news He came to announce.
Today is a difficult day. Today I again realize that unless God chooses to heal me, I will spend the rest of my life periodically cycling down into depression and/or anxiety. This hopeless thought saddens me and I cry. I feel despair, trapped. There is no escape. Life must be a total drudgery. Or…
There is one escape. Do I embrace it? A battle ensues as the thought captures my attention. It brings the slight, momentary attraction of relief from the cycle. But…
There is another option.
The gospel is good news of hope for the depressed and anxious. In Jesus there is the hope of joy for me. Maybe not now. Maybe not today. Maybe not for long horrible, hateful cycles of my life. But often, and someday, joy forever. And ever. And ever. Amen.
I’m writing to myself and to you, reader, to remind us that the gospel guarantees joy. Sometimes the hope of future joy is all we have, but it is enough to get me through another difficult day.