Posts Tagged ‘Christian Business’

Could You Give Up 10%? A Challenge for Businesses to Tithe

“If you really want to wound a man, hit him in the pocketbook!”

The term “tithing” has a way of making a lot of people uncomfortable. Just talking about finances is considered tacky. It’s either shrugged off as a practice reserved for the religious or it can make someone feel judged. But as business owners having gone through the process of giving away zilch to faithfully committing 10% of all our gross income, we have experienced the gambit of emotions that accompany parting ways with our hard-earned profits.

I remember when we first began attending church regularly and before each sermon there would be a call to tithe, that is to give 10% of your income to the church. For a long while, we felt this didn’t apply to us and we would be satisfied donating $5 or $10 into the offering basket, having accomplished our good deed of giving. But the more we attended, the more we began hearing sermons on the importance of tithing, which began peaking my curiosity. I was under the impression that practice was done away with and reserved for the Old Testament as an old law. How relevant was it today, anyway? And certainly God would not expect us to just give away hundreds of dollars of our income each month; how could we live?!

God is so patient. He tells us in Malachi to test Him in our giving:

“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'” -Malachi 3:10

tithe

So in part faith and part curiosity, we started to write larger tithe checks made out to our local church. They were not 10% of our income, and they were not regular. But the funny thing is that we always seemed to have just enough at the end of each pay, when before we usually fell short before Friday. This did not go unnoticed. In larger (and more dangerous) faith, we gave more and worked our way up to regular giving of 10% of our net income. It’s a scary place to be when you first begin to release those funds and are forced to trust God at His word. It takes a few wins under your belt to start believing He will supply everything you need, especially when the numbers don’t add up. Even still I sometimes struggle with letting go of that much money, but I do it anyway because I don’t want money to rule me. I do not put my trust in money, my trust lies with God. When something dictates your actions, it has become your master. How sad it is to live one’s life chasing after more and never being content? So I let it go and that keeps my hope on God, not in my ability to manage finances. If you aren’t watchful of your heart, man-made cotton paper can become an idol that cannot preserve your life.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” -1 Timothy 6:17-19.

I used to think this verse applied to wealthy celebrities until I heard my pastor state that if you make over $50k/year, you are in the top 1% of income earners in the world! Convicted. I guess my family is “those who are rich in this present world” the Bible was referring to.

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” -Ecclesiastes 5:10

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” -Matthew 6:24

Speaking of the heart, we have to examine from time to time what comes out of our own, for actions come out of the heart. People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. But if your heart is not right, it will cause things to be loved and people to be used. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” -1 Timothy 6:10. Notice it’s the love of money that’s the problem, not money itself.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. If for no other reason, than to keep your heart right. Generosity increases happiness and I thank God He revealed this law of physics to me early in life. We decided our money was going to be a tool used to fight injustices in the world. When we made that decision, God showed us that His church extends beyond the local building we were tithing into. His church encompasses all the believers of the world in Christ and our finances should go toward relieving poverty and freeing the oppressed victims of slavery and human trafficking.

As scary as it is to extend an unclenched fist, I challenge you to examine how your heart’s relationship is with money. Can you give up 10% of your income? We came into this world with nothing after all, and we’ll leave with nothing. You might as well make it work for you rather than work for it. Start to tithe small like we did, God will honor that. Then don’t be afraid to make a difference by increasing the amount you give as you see it working. As for us, I hope to be able to give away everything that’s not nailed down so God can keep pouring in enormous blessings we won’t have room enough to store.

“There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.” -Proverbs 11:24-25

WHY Vegas Website Designs?

Vegas Website Designs was founded on many “Why’s.” Why start the business? Why give 10% away? Why should someone choose to partner alongside us? Our very first “why” came through an inspirational film titled, “Isaiah 58,” pulled directly from Scripture where God corrects His people in their way of living. He tells them:

poverty

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.”

Isaiah 58:6-10

After watching this film based on God’s word, and seeing the truly desolate living conditions of extreme poverty and human trafficking, my husband and I decided our faith alone was not enough; we had to act. From that point, God put a strong desire in our hearts to be an aid to the oppressed.

sunil

Sunil Tudu
Sponsored since June 24, 2013

A few short days later we were led to sponsor Sunil, a 9 year old boy from Eastern India, living about 600 km north of Kolkatta, where his family was making the equivalent of $27.00 US dollars per month. Months later, we also began sponsoring Hayatu – a 6 year old boy from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, living in a home with dirt floors. Hayatu’s family earned only $22.00 US dollars each month, making it difficult for him to attend school.

Because of our decision to sponsor these children through Compassion International, they now attend school regularly and earn an education that will end the cycle of poverty. They are also receiving medical care, meals and learning about Christ.

hayatu

Hayatu Mohammed
Sponsored since September 6, 2013

So God moved us from the Midwest here to Las Vegas, one of the top 3 cities in the United States for human trafficking. This is just the beginning. It is our heart’s desire to release thousands of children and families from poverty and human trafficking through Vegas Website Designs. God has blessed my husband and me with talents and abilities that we have been called to use for His kingdom and glory. Boys like these are the reason we give 10% away. Your decision to work with us helps boost that percentage until we can humbly give 50%.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

The King will answer and say to them, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.'”

Matthew 25:34-40