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Tithe Time

Monte Unger, in January, 1975 NAVLOG

How often have you talked with someone on the telephone who seemed to be in a hurry and wanted to get on with more important business? Or visited with someone on the street and received that same hurried feeling?

You've undoubtedly experienced it...and didn't enjoy it. And, perhaps, you have also been guilty of this.

If you have, why not decide to tithe time, save up chunks, bits and pieces of it, and give them away to people who interrupt your pre-established plans?

It is a great principle of love that people don't interrupt, not really. Perhaps there shouldn't even be such a word as interrupt; for when people come into your existence, even for a brief time, that is a wonderful moment of experience for both of you. Relish it. Probe it. Invest some of the time you have tithed. We can't afford to indulge in the luxury of "being too busy and important" for another person.

We have time for such inanimate things as pieces of mail, vast sprawling shopping centers, the television program which starts at 7:30. But what about relationships with people? Isn't that a great deal of what life is all about&md;loving other people?

Remember Jesus? How he raced about, hurrying from one city to another, collecting great crowds on the way to give them a few minutes of hurried heaven-data, then dashing on to the next place?

No, that is not the picture of Jesus the New Testament gives. He had time for people. In a crowd, a woman touched his robe. Lots of people were probably pushing against him, touching his robe, but he discerned the urgency in this particular touch. He stopped, taking valuable time for this "interruption."

His disciples were full of fire and computer-like-efficiency. They wanted to get on with the task of getting something done, even if they didn't always know what that "something" was. Once a bunch of small, grimy-fingered kids came along and wanted to climb on the Master's lap.

"Get those kids out of here," thought the goal-oriented disciples.

"No, let them stay. Let's enjoy them and let them enjoy us," thought the true-goal-oriented Man from heaven who knew and expressed the great worth of the individual.

The next time a person "interrupts" you, think not of your work and your deadlines; rather, think of that person's needs, of his covert compliment in desiring to spend a few moments with you.

Your meeting may be a significant point in each of your lives, because it is an encounter with another person God has created. you may impart something crucial to his fulfillment&md;or he to yours.

Paul prayed: "May God, who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement, help you to live in complete harmony with each other&md;each with the attitude of Christ toward the other" (Rom. 15:5, TLB). Are you caught up on your time-tithe?