Why does God need my money?
The issue of tithing is one that has been long debated and for varying reasons. Some individuals rebuff the belief of many Christians that it should be a crucial part of their service to God.
Many ask, 'Why does God need my money when He has power over everything?'
However, according to General Secretary of the Jamaica Council of Churches, the Reverend Gary Harriott, one gives to show honour to God for the blessings He bestows on them.
"I can't say how it is used by all congregations, but the money received is used for the ongoing work of the church outreach, schools, feeding programmes to maintain their facilities, or they may have staff they have to pay a salary," he said.
According to Harriott, the persons responsible for how the monies ought to be spent in the church must always strive to give an account to the members.
"As a member of the congregation, one of the ways you participate in the church is by paying your tithes and your offering, but those members who are appointed by the congregation have a responsibility to oversee and to report to the congregation."
There are persons who opt to do good with their tithes instead of taking it to church. However, Harriott said that one should never take a one-man approach to service.
"If people are dissatisfied with how the church is using their money and decides to use it on something good, I don't think God will withhold a blessing. But I think we need to move away from the individualistic approach to life because the Church represents a community and when we give our lives to Christ. We are a part of that community; we share our resources."
He further stated: "Nothing that we have is ours. Everything we have we received is from God. When you think you can lie to or cheat God, you have failed to acknowledge that everything comes from God, and giving should not be forced."
The Bible states that one-tenth of an individual's earnings is required, and with this Harriott agrees, but adds that though this is a minimum, persons may wish to give as the Lord has blessed them.
"You have people who approach on a matter of faith and/or challenges of circumstances. I know of God's grace, and I don't know of God holding a big stick over anyone.
If you give based on your love for Christ, with a free and willing heart, not grudgingly but generously, then God will act on a premise of grace and give you even more than what you deserve," he said.