The pastor’s explanation was prompted by questions he received regarding an earlier tweet, in which he said God has blessed him in times when he’s given generously as well as in times he hasn’t.
Villodas warned that Christians can’t control God’s grace based on generosity.
“Over the course of my life there were times when I generously gave and God blessed me. Then there were times when I didn’t generously give and God still blessed me,” he shared. “Generosity is not about controlling God’s hand. We can’t manipulate God’s grace. Generosity is for our maturity.”
The next day, after saying that a number of people asked him to share his beliefs on tithing, Villodas posted what he described as three basic, non-exhaustive points he gives to those who attend New Life Fellowship.
“It’s a formational practice that can help us grow into maturity,” Villodas‘ first point read. “Money has a hold on us in devious ways. When we give, we loosen the grip money has on us. Tithing 10% is a way of training our lives to become like our generous Lord and live in greater freedom from attachments.”
The pastor’s second point explained how he shepherds church members who tell him they struggle to pay their bills. “When congregants troubled by their inability to tithe and pay the bills reach out to me, I invite them to choose a percentage to give. 1 percent, 2 percent, 5 percent etc,” he explained. “Start somewhere and ask for God’s grace to grow your capacity to give. And remember that giving out of our ‘little’ is true abundance in the kingdom of God.”
Villodas’ final point had to do with God’s blessings and whether they are connected to how much someone gives.
“We must be honest about the connections we make regarding our giving habits and the ‘blessings’ we’ve received,” Villodas said. “Over the course of my life there were times when I generously gave and God blessed me. Then there were times when I didn’t generously give and God still blessed me.”
“Generosity is not about controlling God’s hand. We can’t manipulate God’s grace,” Villodas concluded.