Friday, July 17, 2015

THE STOREHOUSE by Susan Harris

“I’m not a religious person,” says Thalia Tringo, “but I try to tithe a percentage of my income.” 

By "religious" I imagine that Tringo is not an adherent of any particular faith. The agent and owner of Thalia Tringo Real Estate, and all the agents in her employ, tithe $250.00 from each transaction to charity. (

Tithes ensure there is food for the storehouse. But what does the storehouse look like? 

My storehouse was the name of the church I wrote on the cheques - my tithe of 10% of my gross income- which I tucked in little white envelopes and dropped in the offering plate. (I imagine I count as "religious".)

About a dozen years ago a young couple disclosed to me that they were going to give their tithes to a family in need. They implored my confidence  for it was expected that their tithes must go strictly to the church in which they held membership. 

I contributed to missions, and gave offerings over and above my tithes, but since that conversation with the couple, my concept of the storehouse widened. In addition to my local church, I give to church plants in foreign countries, pastors with meager salaries, people stricken with cancer. 

This month my heart grieved for an 11-year old and the educational odds she faced in her country. “I’m sending July tithes to the family so they can buy textbooks for the girl.” I announced to my husband.  He was not surprised.

There are huge debates over “to tithe or not to tithe”. The one I prefer to have is over the storehouse – what does it look like? Yet debate is not necessary because I follow God’s leading, gauging the needs and distributing my tithes among those needs.  And in so doing I ensure there is food in many storehouses. His storehouses. I give generously and faithfully and God reciprocates as He promised. 

Tringo is not “religious” yet she is impelled to tithe. She has found storehouses and has provided food. 

In what house do you store?

SUSAN HARRIS is the author of six books including Alphabet on The Farm.


Lux G. said...

Beautiful. I find it strange that some "religious" but don't tithe and there are those that are not very spiritual but knows the value of giving back.

Peter Black said...

An interesting post, Susan. You've touched on a contemporary issue that challenges a long-held position in many Christian fellowships, especially those on the evangelical spectrum.
Tithing ('tenthing' one's income) to the storehouse (one's home church) plus offerings (over and above the tithe) - for the support of other ministry arms channelled through that church, has widely been the expectation and assumption.
Thanks for your vulnerability and transparency in sharing your story. I suspect that this growing openness towards giving on a personal level, as people are touched in their hearts to human need and as Christ-followers respond to nudges by the Holy Spirit, greater giving occurs over-all to meet a wider range of needs. As you imply, God has many storehouses. Thanks. ~~+~~

Susan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Harris said...

An astute observation, Peter. I've grown up giving 1/10 from my allowance as a school girl, and still do to this day. The only thing that has changed in the last dozen years is that my tithes go to various outlets instead of a single local church. I don't really care for the record that comes at the end of the year for tax purposes, nor if that record identifies me as a tither or not. None of the organizations and individuals to which I tithe knows the percentage of what I give to them. I prefer to hold myself directly accountable to God. And yes, it does challenge the status quo. I believe in supporting where one is fed, but I have a bigger vision for myself. Thanks for your continued encouragement to my posts on this blog site.

PS - If anyone chimes and I'm MIA in responding, it's because I'm at the auction sale and attending to duties there. There is no Internet connection at times depending on where one is, for even a leaf can block a signal. So I'll follow up next week.

Susan Harris said...

Indeed, Lux. There are good examples in the world that Christians can pattern after. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Harris said...

The family messaged me that they received the cheque today. Praise God it did not get lost in the mail.

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