lensweetAt graduation from a Christian college, two best friends made a covenant with one another: even though neither had any money, they pledged to practice tithing to the church every year for the rest of their lives. As time went on, one became a pastor, and the other became a successful entrepreneur. During the hard years the entrepreneur tithed one thousand dollars the year he earned ten thousand, ten thousand dollars the year he earned one hundred thousand, and one hundred thousand dollars the year he earned one million. But the year he earned six million dollars, he just could not write out that check for six hundred thousand dollars to the church.

So he telephoned his pastor friend, long since having moved to another part of the country, and asked to see him. Walking into his study and joyously greeting his college buddy, the entrepreneur begged to be let out of the covenant. “This tithing business has to stop, bro. It was fine when my tithe was one thousand dollars, but I just cannot afford six hundred thousand dollars. Do you know how much money that is? You’ve got to do something, Reverend, to help me out of my bind.”

The pastor immediately knelt on the floor and prayed silently for a long, long while. “Are you praying that God will release me from our covenant to tithe?” the entrepreneur asked. “No,” said the pastor. “I am praying for God to reduce your income back to the level where one thousand dollars will be your tithe.”