Tithing From the Heart

“Have you given a tithing of the heart lately?”

If someone asked you a question similar to this, how would you answer? No doubt you’d want to know what they meant by ‘tithing of the heart’.

While the words may seem obvious, it’s not to be confused with a monetary tithing or offering, which are also of the heart and spirit.

We, as church-going worshipers of Christ, tithe. Some of us to our church, some of us to other Christian organizations doing work for the Lord, and some of us tithe to both. All depending on our means and where the need is, as the Holy Spirit leads us.

But, in a tithing of the heart it’s a little different and usually may not cost much more than a few dollars.

A heart tithing can be gas money to get to a retirement or nursing home. A few dollars invested in a small gift or card to say “Jesus loves you”, or “I’m thinking of you”. It could be secretly paying for a perm or dress for a poor elderly lady during the holidays who could never afford that luxury, except that our Lord Jesus intends for her to have it. Or, some other luxury she can’t afford but that we may take for granted.

There are many ways to do a tithing, and some don’t cost a thing (maybe just a little bit of elbow grease or energy). You could walk to an elderly neighbor’s house and do their dishes, sweep their floor, or cook them a good meal. Even invite them to lunch or dinner.

You could cook for them, when you make your dinner, and deliver theirs hot, along with a nice plate, silver and a lovely cloth napkin(s), that you insist be piled in a small box or basket, and not be washed. The cleanup is your privilege.

Many of these little things that you would do for them are chores they could have done for themselves before age caught up with them. They may still do these things, but if they are living at home and maintaining their independence without much help it drains their already-restricted level of energy.

Another avenue to explore is helping a young family having a difficult time financially. So many people are now out of work (a two-job family now down to one) as prices still continue to rise for the most basic of things such as food, clothing, and shelter. The person who has some time to spare can shop at yard sales for nicer items of clothing to help a family with children. If the items are big ones—like shoes, coats and jeans— it will be especially appreciated.

What about new parents who have fallen on difficult times as well. Every mother and father knows how fast infants and toddlers grow out of their clothing. Then there are the big ticket items for them, such as highchairs, baby beds and walkers, and even these can be bought at yard sales and polished up or fixed to be almost ‘good as new’.

As God’s children, there are so many ways we who are doing alright can help His other children in need. The joy from giving to another will satisfy our spirit.

It’s my personal preference, when giving a tithing, that the recipient be the most lonely and neediest of persons.

What good does it do to bestow gifts and acts of kindness on a person or couple who already have all their financial and social needs met? I’ll give them my pleasant conversation, but my energy, time, and money will go to someone that doesn’t have much in this life.

I believe it’s easy to like and do for the lovelier people of America. It’s not so easy to love the poor, the broken, or the ugliest of our land. What good does it do to invite someone to eat who can easily repay that generosity?

I’ll always do what my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus tells me to do, either by responding when He speaks to my heart or by following the prompting of His Holy Spirit.