Saturday, January 1, 2011

Test Me in This

I have just finished reading Tithing: Test Me in This by Douglas LeBlanc.  This book is one in the Ancient Practices series.  The book is structured as a series of short stories that highlight the lives of those who are faithful in tithing. 
I was excited to read those stories and receive further proof of how God keeps His promises.  There are 11 chapters, each with very different real-life examples that basically guide the reader through the process each individual or couple has gone through to arrive at their philosophy of tithing.  Yet instead of focusing the glory toward God for His faithfulness and provision, the stories seemed to spend more time on explaining the denomination and doctrine of each individual, whether liberal or conservative and some of the policital background of how their current church or religious organization had been formed. 
While a few of the stories were truly powerful (Missional Living after Katrina and Treasures in Heaven), instead of walking away from this book with a greater sense of how profound and amazing God's promises are, I walked away knowing more than I wanted to about the many different branches of denominations and randomly affiliated churches in various parts of the country.  This frustrated me and detracted from what I felt the main focus should have been... how tithing had blessed them and shaped their faith and relationship with God.

The stories were well-written, and I want to say that the author's heart was in the right place, yet the large amount of time spent on explaining religious politics really took away from the biblically-based focus that the title represents.  I know and love the verse in Malachi where the Lord instructs his followers to test Him in His faithfulness to bless those abundantly who tithe their ten percent. In the past, my husband and I have strayed from our faithfulness in tithing and have suffered financially because of it. When we have been strict in our adherence to tithing at least ten percent, those are the times that we have seen unexplainable bounty. Our income and expenses remain the same, yet things are always better financially when we are faithful in our giving.  At a minimum, this book reinforced that experience for me... but didn't provide me with the uplift I had hoped for.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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