It’s better to give than to receive, as the old saying goes. Hence, we are encouraged to give “Ikapo at handog” when going to church or giving donations to outreach programs. But with giving also comes great responsibility—because blessings and resources should flow.
Where do my tithes and offerings go?
Your gifts, whether material or monetary, are allocated for the good—namely, financial obligations and church initiatives for poor communities.
The collated resources help build, maintain, and operate churches, temples, and charitable facilities. They also fund wards, schools as well as other ecclesiastical and missionary programs. They are also used to educate young people in seminaries and schools.
How much should I give?
Zakat, or “alms giving,” is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The practice is to contribute a follower’s percentage of assets to charity, which could either be in the form of wealth, production, or animals.
According to BBC.co.uk, there is no exact set of rules when calculating what to pay in the community of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Mormons regard the practice of giving 10 percent “as a matter of conscience—something between them and God.”
The Law of Moses vs. The Law of Christ
Based from common knowledge taught by the Christian religion, tithing is a commandment by God as written in the holy scriptures.
According to The Old Testament, followers are intended to return 10 percent of their blessings as recognition and gratitude to God.
This tithing system was designed post-Exodus as means for nation building as the people was divided into 12 tribes. Eleven of these tribes grew crops in lands and abundant livestock.
Theses tribes contributed 10 percent of their income to compensate for the 12th tribe, the Levi, who were the priests and administrators who has minimum resources.
“The tithing to give to the Levites was basically playing the same as paying taxes in the current days,” explains bible.org.nz. “The Levites did attending to the tabernacles, temple, judging disputes, diagnosing illnesses, being the judicial system.”
Many ecclesiastical studies and ministries still argue whether or not the Old Testament tithing is already obsolete. Many interpret that the New Testament scriptures dictate no exact percentage should people tithe to the Church because money was only intended to support impoverished members but never for anyone’s salary.
Whatever the old and new covenants say, tithing is a matter of heart and spirit. Also, it is important to be discerning when giving to determine which ministries and organizations are worthy of financial support.
The purpose of tithing is to teach us to put service as priority to our lives. Setting religion aside, there are more reasons why you should give back to the community.
Participating in volunteer works such as building classrooms and volunteering in shelters can strengthen communities as it makes the community more conducive to living.
A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health revealed that giving back is physically and mentally good for a person, commonly called as “helper’s high.”