Tithing our Words

A.J. Jacobs is doing some interesting things.  He’s the guy who read the whole Encyclopedia Brittanica, and who tried to live by all the Biblical rules for a year.  And now he’s doing a Guinea Pig Project, with a book about the various undertakings he’s gotten into as a human guinea pig.  Here’s an interview with him that I enjoyed:


Today I read an article by him in the December issue of O Magazine.  He was talking about tithing.  Listen in:  “Since I’m a writer, I also tell myself this: one out of every ten words belongs to someone deserving.  In that previous sentence, it was the word deserving.”

He’s clever, and I’d definitely like to meet him.  Heck, I’d like to BE him.  I like these guinea pig things. My jubilee blog here IS one of those guinea pig things (“Hey… what if I actually lived out jubilee for a year.”).

But beyond being entertained, I was also touched and challenged.  If I’m going to tithe on my writing income, then every 10th word belongs to the poor, every 10th minute does, every 10th thought, every 10th project.

I’m a Christian, and I believe in the priesthood of all believers and that the work I do every day is God’s work (in that it should be honoring to Him, dedicated to His service and in line with His principles).  And then I should give 10% away, as a start.  Not legalistic shoulds, shoulds that come from gratitude.  But I don’t often think of part of my actual workday or part of my actual output as belonging to others.

Jacobs gave me something to think about, and I’m also going to go read all his books.  Though maybe not the whole Encyclopedia Brittanica.


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