Well, it took some doing (and a little borrowing), but we made it through ok. I advanced up the ladder at my job, we had a healthy baby girl, and moved into a great house with a big yard. And although we have money now, and could afford to pay tithing, we still don’t. I guess this is like a like a tithing miracle story, just without the tithing ;)]]>
In the long view that’s a very small thing I suppose; there were many other instances where we somehow miraculously got by while paying our tithing, or had less stress about the very thin shoestring we were on than we did during times when we didn’t pay it. But that Christmas tree incident really stands out in my memory as one of God’s “tender mercies” for those who are trying to do what they can.
One other thing: we’ve had some very good financial years since then; one year we paid more in tithing than we did in total for our first house. I do not mean to brag — my point is that paying tithing is not easier or harder if you’re paying a lot or a little. It’s not easier on the rich or the poor. How easy it is to pay and how cheerfully and faithfully you do so is really up to you and nothing else.
And, IMO, while the actual paying of it is the concrete test of our faith, doing so with a griping, reluctant heart makes all the difference too. With due respect to the poster above, the attitude of “talk to me about anything you like, but not tithing” sounds like nothing so much as “talk to me about anything you like except for that one area where I really need to learn something.”]]>
One thing I loved about John Groberg’s book is how he says they struggled despite their service to the Lord.]]>
There was also a period of time, after my experiences I posted about, when my husband had a decent job, but we were still just barely scraping by. I started paying extra in fast offering. I decided his next paycheck should be a certain dollar amount, and I upped my fast offering so that our total tithing/fast offering was 10% of that amount. His next paycheck, without fail, would be the amount I’d set. (He got overtime.)
He was inactive at the time, and later on when I told him about it, he said, “So you’re the reason I had to work all that overtime.”]]>
The hardest it ever got was when I was determined to pay, regardless. Seven months. When I finally surrendered, the only saving grace was that the mechanic felt so bad for us that he only charged us half for labor. It still came to much more than we had, and I had to borrow money from my father, which took five years to repay.
The next time we tried it, we did so with an agreement with the bishop that he would pay our housing costs if we paid our tithing (the house was in forclosure by that time, this time because of medical expenses). That worked until I got a job transfer. We are trying it again, and again our extra expenses (again, mostly medical) are almost exactly the amount we are paying in tithing.
I tell every new bishop or branch president when we move into their unit that I would be glad to take any calling, and would be glad to talk on any subject–except tithing. Even in retrospect, I can’t see where we have been blessed for trying to keep this commandment.]]>