by Alyssa Robinson
What if we gave generously? This is a big question that I think about often. What if everyone in the world who claimed to follow the teachings of Jesus gave generously? What would that look like? I read an article from Relevant Magazine that outlined the impact of every Christian donating 10% of their income (a traditional tithe).
If every Christian in the world gave a full tithe, that would equal $165 billion for churches to use and distribute. Then they broke down that number:
- $25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation, and deaths from preventable diseases in five years.
- $12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in five years.
- $15 billion could solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places in the world where 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day.
- $1 billion could fully fund all overseas mission work.
- $100 – $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion.
It's incredible to think about! I’m not sure if these numbers represent yearly tithes, and I’m not even sure where they got those numbers. Honestly, the numbers aren’t the point. It’s a fun thought experiment to consider all of the potential for God’s good in which we can participate. Because then I started thinking, what if everyone gave just 5% of what they make? That would still make a huge difference in the world! Even further, what if we each just gave 1% of our earnings? Surely, we can find a way to live off of 99% of our income.
How much shelter, food, clothing, opportunities, education, water, and care could we provide if we were each willing to make the smallest sacrifice? What if we each gave something, anything?
Don’t mistake this for a guilt trip or pressure. I’ve already written a blog post about how God doesn’t care about or need money. God cares about your heart and being in relationship with you. Generosity is a personal journey that takes years, maybe even decades of introspection and prayer. I simply find the possibilities of generosity exciting.
I truly believe if we each took some time to sit in gratitude for what we have, God will reveal the ways in which we’ve benefited from generosity. If we each take a day to sit down with our finances and examine what we’d be willing to do without, God will reveal the possibilities of joy and contentment. If we ask the question, “Lord, what do you want to do through me?” I believe God will put people and opportunities in our path to be generous with our time, money, and spiritual gifts.
Join me in continuing to ask the question, “What if?” Imagine the possibilities of generosity for our surrounding community. If you’re ready to step into generosity, visit tmumc.org/pledge to fill out your 2023 Estimate of Giving and explore more resources to help you lean into generosity in a new way.
Enjoy these stories from people who have started their journey to generous living.