Ok so I did a lot of research for this one. That's why it took me so long to get my thoughts together.
A few things come to mind when it comes to the choices I have made in my life. Most of them financially based. This is because I spend a lot of time thinking about living on my own and how expensive it can get. My biggest dream is to have my own place and be able to live on my own but that is a thought for another post.
In general, my finances are pretty well balanced. At the beginning of the month I pay various bills. Car payment and rent payment ( to my mom ) come first. Then there are expenses for gas, food and student loans. At the moment, I can't pay student loans as I do not have stable work. I will eventually get to that. I think I am doing pretty well making sure it is all taken care of. This is Adulting 101. Pay your bills and pay your taxes. But what about tithing? Isn't that important? God says to give him 10%. What does that really mean?
Tithing came from biblical days when the people of a city gave 10% of everything they had to the priests. Back then it was mostly cattle and crops and some money. Then the priests turned around and gave 10% to the government. Back in biblical days, tithing was a way to support to temple. What does this mean for todays synagogues and churchs? Same thing. Tithes go to support the religious establishments and to pay thier staff. In turn those workers give 10% of thier income to the church. It works kind of the same way.
Here's the issue. Currently, I do not tithe. I'll tell you why. I believe that tithing is very important as a family unit. As I am single and live with my family, I do not tithe. I think there are scriptures about this somewhere in the Bible. Let me tell you a little story. I was in my 20s and someone in my congregation got word that I do not tithe and told me that it was a sin not to tithe. I immediately bought it to the rabbi and he said that its okay. I live in my parents home and do not live on my own and cannot tithe due to small income. The scandal was put to rest right then and there. I have even had someone tell me that I should tithe what little I have. I am pretty sure that God does not want me to starve. I dismissed that suggestion. I do, however, tithe of my time.
I am a firm believer in tithing of my time in service to the Lord. I also believe that this is one of my callings. Ever since I could remember, I loved being the helper. Its like what Mr. Rodgers used to say, "In times of trouble, if you look around, you will always find helpers". I have been a servant for over 15 years for various synagogue functions. I even have my ears pierced in the cartilage as a symbol of servitude to God (Deut 15:17 and Exod 21:6). I recently joined a church and I plan to be actively involved there too.
I believe that my life has progressed slower that average but it all happened the way it did for a reason.