In 2nd Corinthians 6:3-11, Paul is at his best urging the new believers to maintain their focus and their identity.

Paul does what great leaders so often do: he reminds people of the hardships they have shared in order to draw them back to what really matters. Then he issues a direct challenge that again, Paul is renown for. Verses 12 and 13: We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange… open wide your hearts also.

So what’s this verse doing in a tithe column?

As I hear stories about people’s distain for tithe, so often it’s about matters of the heart not matters of the numbers. So many have withdrawn from the church… but they still attend. They have said the church is not worthy of their tithe…

Have they perhaps, simply checked out emotionally?

They say the church is poorly managed, but in fact, they’re holding a grudge.

It’s tough being a grown up. They tell me that once you become one, that’s it for life: there’s no real wriggle room on the difficult matters of being who we are.

Paul’s challenge to you, and to me, every time it’s tithe time, is to open our hearts. This could be challenging at first. You may see things you did not expect. But it’s what Paul would call a fair exchange.

The rewards are ours by opening our hearts.

Nicholas Bolto