Your focus on faith and finances (May 2008 issue) truly inspired me to ensure my finances are supporting just causes through my giving, banking, and investing alike. The article on “Extreme Charity” (by Julie Polter) particularly challenged me, but I was disappointed by the statistic that average charitable giving per household in 2005 was estimated to be 2.2 percent of disposable income. While I realize that this is not a statistic of Christians alone, I wonder if we’re even following the biblical principle of tithing, as that would result in a base of 10 percent, with a liberal offering on top of that!
While I cringe at the prosperity theology espoused by so many, I also cannot begin to recount the kinds of blessings that have come as a result of following God’s simple financial stewardship plan. Even if the result is nothing beyond putting God first in your finances and gaining the discipline of living on 90 percent of one’s gross income, the benefits are more than worth it. I would also encourage people to work from their gross instead of net income, as that is truly one’s “increase” and not what’s “left” after taxes and the like are subtracted. God asks to be put first, not as part of anything that can be termed “disposable.”