What hinders me….?
To Hinder someone is to cause them some amount of difficulty in what they are trying to accomplish. If I wish to take a trip across the country in my car and have $10 in my wallet, the hindrance is a lack of money. Once, while traveling across the country while in college, my dad had sent me a credit card for Shell. My hindrance along the trip was that Shell wasn’t in Colorado…that and no money! My desire to travel back to Oregon was not in question, but there was a obsticle in my way.
When the Eunuch asked Phillip, “What hinders me from being baptized?” The answer really was nothing provided that he believed.
Yesterday, I said that I would discuss “What hinders us from giving 10%” and the answer is usually a simple: Too much outgo. Now, I realize that there are other possible reasons and not enough income to feed and clothe yourself might be a big factor in that. However, if you are in that situation, I trust that you will be able to see that I am not talking about you.
To keep it simple, I will ask about a person who makes $20,000 a year ($1,666/month) and decides that he needs to have his own apartment and stuff. It is so easy with credit now a days to go buy a couch/tv/stereo/PlayStation, etc. Let’s suppose that our young adventurer runs up a bill on various things totaling $15,000. Not a difficult feat to accomplish really. How much will he be paying? A single credit card at 15% (and the furniture he bought on no interest till 2014 will convert to a 29% interest rate if he doesn’t pay the last penny on time.) would be about $350 a month. So while the amount might be a little more than that since he bought at different places, let’s assume ONE credit card bill handles it.
This represents 21% of his before tax income. After taxes, it is likely to be closer to 25% of his income. By the time he pays the rent and utilities, insurance, etc. he is not going to have a lot left. If he has been putting food and gas on that credit card (living on 110% of his take home) then he will be in more hurt once his credit line is maxed out.
Phone (full web and texting) $85
Credit card $350
oops! I ran out of money and haven’t even paid TAXES.
The idea is not that you have to (HAVE TO) give 10%, the idea is that even if you wanted to, you couldn’t. Why not? Because you bought things on credit instead of at a garage sale. Now, you have an obligation to take care of and the cash that you would put in the collection plate, you don’t have because you are paying bills.
The thorny soil in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4) was the person who let the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things, choke it out. It became unfruitful. So many of us are able to choke the ability we have to bear fruit by tying ourselves to the world’s pleasures. We need to free ourselves from that and then we will have money to give. Yes, even more than 10% if we are so moved.