Stewardship Resource

Three Critical Elements in Downhill Skiing

Illustration  Illustration
  • Author: Earl Palmer is pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Wash.
  • Updated: 03/20/2008
  • Copyright: Earl Palmer

We can learn a lot about giving from the sport of downhill skiing. The trick is to keep your weight on the downhill ski and go fast enough to execute a turn.


Three Critical Elements in Downhill Skiing

There are three critical elements in downhill skiing:
1. You need to aim your body down the fall line.
2. You need to keep your weight on the downhill ski.
3. You need to go fast.

If your body is not aimed down the fall line you cannot turn effectively. If your weight is not on the downhill ski, you will catch an edge and fall. If you have no speed, you will force your weight around and again likely fall. You need to master all these elements to be able to ski effectively.

The problem is that all three run counter to our instinct of self-preservation. All three seem contrary to reason and good sense. Yet any skier knows that without these you cannot ski well.

The same rule applies to giving a significant percentage of our income. It runs counter to our instincts, giving us an insecure feeling that we will fall short in other areas.

But the reality in giving, like skiing, is that when we tithe the opposite is true. Instead of falling on our faces, we actually begin to move with freedom down the slope of life, enjoying the gift of the moment rather than living anxiously in the uncertainty of changing conditions.

Many of us know the reality of skiing that is contrary to reason. Let us discover the reality of tithing and know the joy that giving brings.

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