My Question: Giving Time Instead of Money

Questions to Talk About

A reader sent me a link to a article, “Thou Shalt Be Debt Free,” in which a columnist who advises on ethical living answered a woman’s question on whether she should reduce or eliminate her tithe in order to more quickly eliminate her large credit-card debt. That question is beyond the purpose of The Equipper website. But at the end of this article, the columnist makes this comment:

“Third, consider substituting your monetary tithing with ‘time tithing’ . . . . Tithe your time by volunteering at your church. While 10 percent of your week (16.8 hours) may seem hefty, 10 percent of waking nonworking hours may be more manageable (approximately 7.2 hours).”

The quote brought to mind a comment I’ve heard more than once: “I can’t give money [to a particular need or project] so I’m giving my time.”

Most would agree that the general idea is that we give both our financial resources and our time and abilities. God has given us everything, and we are to manage it as his stewards. But both comments above still raise some interesting questions:

  • Does one type of giving (money or time) come before the other? Does the amount we give in one area affect the other?
  • If you weren’t able to give the amount of money you’d like, would you increase the amount of time you’re giving? Or if you can’t give as much time as you’d like, would you increase the amount of money you’re giving?
  • Is it easier to give money? or time?
  • Christians often give a percentage of their income, but we don’t generally talk about giving a percentage of our time. Imagine tithing 10% of one’s waking, nonworking hours, about 7 hours a week. Is that a good idea?

What do you think?

Comment, or ask a question of your own, below.

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