You tithe ... and have neglected the weightier matters

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

When I think about this passage I am reminded of the evening that Ann and I dined with some Christian friends. There were six of us and the restaurant had a policy for such groups that automatically charged an 18% gratuity. One of the guys in the group was very upset about the extra 3% tip and complained throughout the dinner. Like the Pharisees he was neglecting weightier matters. Like them he was focused on the legal percentages.

The point Jesus is trying to make is how a fixation on religious legalities will cause a person to miss the point of faith. I submit this to you - if faith does not cause you to be more just.. more merciful.. more faithful.. and more loving.. then then there is something wrong with your faith. Genuine faith causes one go past what they owe God and leads them to live a more generous life. Real faith is not focused on tipping or tithing percentages.

Take my eyes off the percentages Lord and help me to lead a life of generosity today.


  1. We occasionally use discounted gift certificates that we bought at They require you to buy a certain amount and they also put an 18% gratuity on the bill. I always add in an extra 2%. Your friend would have loved that!

  2. It is so easy to get caught up in the technicalities, (especially money technicalities) and miss the real point. Thanks for the post.


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