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    When Should You Start Tithing?

    A few years ago, I was visiting my nieces Anna and Norah, who were about eight and six at the time. We were playing in their room when I saw a small box on a dresser filled with quarters. When I asked Anna about it, she explained that this box was where she kept her allowance. Her mother would give her four quarters every week. Anna would place one quarter in each of three compartments in the box—Spend, Save, Give—and the last quarter was a freebie; Anna got to choose which compartment she wanted to put it in each week. Anna then innocently explained to me that she had just purchased a package of socks with her “Give” money, which she donated to a local homeless shelter.

    That moment has stayed with me to this day. My little nieces were practicing the biblical principal of tithing—setting aside money to be used for God’s work. When I was Anna and Norah’s age, I used to watch my mother put money in the offering basket on Sunday and think how tithing was something only adults could do. Then I became an adult and I made up even more excuses not to tithe. I had a good job and made money, but I convinced myself it wasn’t enough money that I had to give it away. I thought tithing was just for adults and the wealthy, but that moment with Anna and Norah changed my perspective on tithing forever.

    See, here’s the bottom line: You are never too young to tithe. Even more than that, you don’t have to have a lot of money to do it. Remember the widow in Luke 21:1-4? She only had two copper coins, but she gave them to God willingly. That’s what tithing is all about. We live in a culture that worships money and stuff. It can be really easy to lose ourselves in the pursuit of material possessions. Tithing is a physical reminder that God provides, and that He should be the focus of our attention. We shouldn’t tithe to prove how holy we are, or because we have to, but because God wants us to remember that our treasure is in Heaven.

    Even if you don’t have a job, even if you don’t have much money, even if you are very young, you can still practice tithing. It’s never too early to start! There’s something life-changing in living a generous life, and I learned that lesson from two kids in elementary school who saved quarters to help those in need.

    If you are old enough to save a few quarters every week, you are old enough to tithe. Proverbs 11:24 says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Don’t wait as long as I did to miss out on the joy of giving. It will enrich your life in ways you never thought possible.

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