Compelled beyond the yoke

First, let me state the facts: everything I have belongs to the Source - my throat, my voice, my life, my husband, my children, my possessions, my future, my plans, dreams, ideas, intellect. It would be foolish to hold tightly in my fist what I have no control over and no ownership of. Regular, cheerful giving is something I have tried to incorporate in my life in a variety of ways - and I have been enormously blessed by doing so. What I am struggling to explicate as I study giving and fear is the cause-and-effect line that is sometimes drawn between giving and blessing. Just like my struggle of last year, when I tried to understand how some people came to think that faith equals healing or health and lack of faith equals cancer. My mother told me today that the issue lies in the fact that Jesus, and His Word, are not simple and uncomplicated. One verse points in one direction on this topic: Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10) Then the next verse I look up sends me running away from the rigidity of the tithe: All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." (Galatians 3:10)

I heard an interesting point today on tithing that made me wonder if the principle does, indeed, predate the Law of Moses. A little known story I'd never paid attention to mentions tithing (giving a tenth) prior to Moses: Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils of war to Melchizidek, and this story has been used to lay a foundation for the idea that tithing transcends Old Testament Law and New Testament Covenant. In my brief search of the available resources, I read some statements staunchly in favor of this interpretation, and others expressing vitriol opposing it. The most gracious and eloquent explanation came courtesy of D. Matthew Brown at Faith for Faith:

My point in writing this is not to give a Christian an excuse not to give but, quite the contrary, to exhort the Christian to give as the New Covenant prescribes from beyond the yoke of the Law. The picture painted of giving in the early Church is not that of those who neglect the Law and give nothing, but it is that of those who give all that they have to their brothers and sisters in Christ even when they are impoverished. The requirement of the New Covenant is in fact much weightier than that of the Law, for the Law required its adherer to give 10 percent (actually 23.3 percent according to the various tithes of the Law); the New Covenant requires one to give 100 percent—their life.
~ The Yoke of Tithing; see also Why Christians Shouldn't Have Nice Things ~