All God Wants? by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

1 Corinthians 10:26: The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.

When Dave and I moved back to Fort Scott in the early 80’s, we attended various churches in order to decide where we best fit.  It was a season for tithing sermons, I guess, a subject we were not too keen on obeying.  I mean, we gave to charities and tossed some dollars into all of the collection plates, but if these churches were going to browbeat us into feeling guilty, they weren’t for us.

Embarrassing, I agree.

As relatively new Christians, we had missed out on a basic tenet of Faith, namely, God owns everything we think we own.  Everything.  He has blessed us with the ability to accumulate what we have, so we cannot take credit for any of our possessions.

When you read the Old Testament, it becomes evident that God wants the first 10% of what we make.  The “first” 10%.  Then Jesus arrived on the scene, and the New Testament tells us to “live generously.”  No longer is a specific amount noted, so most scholars claim that 10% should be a minimum we give.

Pastor Todd Mullens, from the church Dave and I attended three years ago in Jupiter, Florida, made a powerful demonstration of how that minimum plays out.  On the stage, he had a large basket of fruit.  He pulled out 10 bunches of carrots, carefully counting them as he laid them on a table.  He removed one bunch and placed it in a smaller basket.  That was God’s portion.  He did likewise with apples and cucumbers.

Then he told a story about his son’s sixth birthday party.  For a present, his grandpa had given Jefferson 10 one-dollar bills.  Todd asked his son who gave him the money and was told “Papa did.”  Todd agreed but reminded young Jefferson that God had given Papa the ability to make the money.  Todd took the bills and placed them side-by-side on the kitchen table, counting them out slowly.

“Jefferson, every time we get some money, we need to give God 1/10 of what we have received.  You need to give God one dollar out of these ten.  You get to keep the rest.”

Jefferson picked out one bill, looked at his father and asked, “Gee, Dad, this is all God wants?” A perspective we all should share.

According to the “Generous Church” organization, the average Christian gives 2.5% of his/her earnings to God.  Should they give 10%, between $165 billion and $300 billion (depending on the source), more could be amassed.  Look at how that plays out:

  • $25 billion and five years would relieve global hunger, starvation, provide clean water and deaths from preventable diseases.
  • $12 billion would eliminate illiteracy in 5 years.
  • $15 billion would solve the world’s water and sanitation issues.
  • $10.8 billion would free 27 million people living in slavery.


Add it up.  That still would allow at least $100 billion to be used elsewhere.  Scripture says that “God loves a cheerful giver.”  Something tells me that those who give 2.5% of their earnings to God probably don’t fit that definition.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *