Testimonial: St. Spyridon and the Promise

St. Spyridon might not be the patron saint of tithing, but for one family, his intercession led them to tithe

Spyridon

Icon of St. Spyridon courtesy of Holy Icons.

There was an event, a moment, when we began to tithe, and it took me entirely by surprise.

My jaw literally dropped when my husband told me we were going to begin tithing, giving 10% of our income to our church.  How much we give has been a difficult and ongoing discussion since even before we were married.  I come from a family of limited means that tithed without excuses, and I expected the same from my own newly-forming family.  On the other hand, my husband understood tithing as the goal, but when he assessed our financial situation, he couldn’t see room for that level of giving.  To be fair, I don’t worry very much about what is in our bank account now or in the future.  So, we started our married life giving a small percentage of our income, but we were committed to slowly increasing that percentage until we reached tithing. 

That’s why my husband’s announcement that we were about to begin tithing came as such a surprise.  To be precise, though, his words were that we “would begin to tithe IF….”  You see, he had made a promise to St. Spyridon that if a serious situation at work would be resolved, he would begin to tithe.  I responded, “It’s going to work out!  St. Spyridon won’t let you off of a promise like that one!”

St. Spyridon was the saint to whom we had turned for help for the simple reason that an important meeting on the work matter had been scheduled for the Feast of St. Spyridon.  We placed our need for help in the saint’s hands and prayers, although at first, I didn’t know about the promise my husband had made.  We had been told to expect the worst, that situations like my husband’s would rarely be resolved his favor.  Still, we hoped and prayed…and worried.

Not long thereafter, all involved in the issue were surprised to hear that it was resolved quickly in my husband’s favor.  We give glory to God and have a new, deep love and gratitude toward his servant, St. Spyridon!  Immediately thereafter, we began to tithe.  Some wise advice guided us: “Don’t overthink the basis of your tithe.  Simply pledge 10% of the adjusted gross income on your tax return.”

Has tithing dramatically affected our spending and finances?  Honestly, no.  We are a very middle-class family of modest means.  Most of our income pays for the basics—food, clothing, and shelter—but we also spend plenty on entertainment and nonessentials, even today as we did in our “pre-tithing” days.  While we are tempted from time to time to think about what we could do or buy if we weren’t tithing, we try instead to consider this:  “…give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:36).

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