That being said, the three things I want to discuss are tithing, taxes, and tabling (it is kind of a stretch, but I wanted a third "T" word). There are a lot of really difficult points, but they are things that the program has discussed or thoughts I have on the subjects.
God calls us as Christians to support the Church. It can often be tough to consider that for every dollar you bring in, you give a dime to the Church. Giving this sacrifice each week (or monthly if you prefer) will not cause God to love you more or less. I don't believe it is going to affect the eternal destination. But much as running a car for tens of thousands of miles without ever changing the oil is not good for the car, not tithing is not good for our souls. One of the quickest ways to feel good is to help someone else, and dropping that dollar in the basket is helping the Church to help others - thus it feels good and holy.
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD." (Leviticus 27:30)
Additionally, it helps to remember that this is God's money - much like the Parable of the Talents, God has entrusted us with the resources we have and we are not to squander them, but to use them as he would have us use them. Budgeting after the tithe has already come out makes things much easier as well.
While tithing has become much easier for me since we just set it up to be a weekly draw and wrote it into our budget, the second T (taxes) is a bit more difficult. I sit here in the heartland and do my best to elect officials who will spend wisely our hard earned tax money. However, when I look at what they are doing in DC, I wonder if I'm the only voter who thinks this way. I strongly disagree with a number of things congress supports and have other programs that I think could be run much more efficiently. In short, I think if our government was a business, it would have failed years ago. That being said, it is the law and to quote a man who is infinitely wiser than I:
"Then Jesus said to them, 'Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.' And they were amazed at him." (Mark 12:17)The third T is tabling. As I mentioned earlier tabling is a stretch. I would have preferred to use saving, but it didn't work with my "Three T's". At any rate, we talked about how it is important for us to save money for the future. This way we can provide for ourselves in retirement and we can provide for our children. Additionally, we can use saving to avoid going into debt, which is a bad idea more often than not. Is it not better to save up and work hard to make a big purchase than to finance it and make payments with interest toward the same thing? At any rate, saving or tabling money for another time is a good thing.
Though money is one of those tricky things, it is important to not let it become the center of our lives. We still need to pay attention to it, but don't allow it to become an obsession. I've heard it said that Gluttony is not necessarily over-eating, but rather an obsession with food (so it can be overeating as well as under-eating to extremes). We need to be careful with money that it doesn't become an obsession for us, but also that we pay enough attention to it that we don't squander away what God has given us. We need to do with it as God asks so that in the end he comes to us and says:
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! (Matthew 25: 21)
Now I'm back to my mission...