?"…and yes, tithing is part of our worship. He’s given us that 10% to acknowledge that we have a responsibility in that matter, 10% to live out faith, 10% to live out trust, 10% to live out love. We constantly ask for blessings, yet withhold giving what he’s first given us."
Old Testament times required Israelites to give 10% of their earnings (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5), even more because of multiple offerings. In the New Testament, Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Tithing was meant to be an act of worship, and like worship, meant to be a JOY and a BLESSING.
Perze and I have been discussing this over the years, ever since we got married, ever since we had less than $500 in our bank account. We made a promise that no matter what, we had to make tithing a priority every time a paycheck went through. We wanted our giving to reflect, not just obeying a command to give 10%, but that in our own life together, it is an act of faith that we CAN give at least that much back to God. We’ve even seen, through the years, how God has blessed us in money matters, in jobs, in gifts that people randomly bless us with. IT’S AMAZING. I’m not trying to exaggerate it; why would I when you and I know the God that we believe? As a family, we have seen God’s tremendous hand of immense blessing to us.
I’m not preaching on a prosperity lifestyle; but I am testifying that we’ve gone through moments of really needing to have faith that God will provide. It hasn’t always been an easy road, or one with audible or visual assurance, but a road with much promise… promise that is given to everyone, not just us. We’ve just chosen to be faithful because God is faithful. There have been some seasons when the thought of tithing was an option instead of a responsibility because the extra money could pay our bills, but we buckled down and followed through with the decision, praying God would provide. Tithing is an act of faith.
Many times, those seasons of insufficient funds to cover some of our bills, to be quite transparent, were because we had not been responsible stewards of the money with what God blessed us. Sometimes, yes, we couldn’t help overspending because of unexpected bulky costs, increased with our monthly necessary living expenses, but yes, there were times of selfish spending. In those seasons, as tempting as it was to keep that 10%, we felt that we were acting selfishly, especially since if we were better stewards in managing that money, it wouldn’t be as tempting to keep that percentage. A wrong followed by a wrong just snowballs until you decide to get out of that cyclical practice and make a turn to do right. Tithing is a responsibility.
Also, being part of a small church with big activities, with Perze part of the Board of Trustees, he sees the church’s financial condition, and we really have an incredible heavy heart for the potential of this church. Tithing is not to further our church. Tithing is not to further our church. Tithing is not to further PEOPLE within the church. TITHING IS TO FURTHER GOD’S MINISTRIES, HIS WORK. No matter how we may agree or disagree with where this money is being spent, the church’s spending is openly broken down with the ministry’s budgetary needs. And we are not a perfect church, but if you can only see, if you can only see the involvement, the fruit of the ministries, you can see that tithing is not manipulated. We need to see that going beyond the responsibility of tithing is seeing tithing as an act of love. Out of our responsibility, the church is able to sow seeds of love, accomplish God’s work, and serve through its ministries. Imagine how much more can be done, just imagine it, if we are all able to bring into the storeroom! Tithing is an act of trust. Tithing is an act of LOVE.
Can we kumbaya on this, brothers and sisters? Can we agree that this is no personal attack, no jump on judgment, no finger pointing or self appreciating, but a move to God’s further glory? Say yes…say yes to faith. When we say we’ve been born again and give our life to HIm, that also means giving Him our finances. When we worship Him and love Him, we also love the works of His hands. We can buckle down to giving God what He has first given us. We can discipline to bless when God’s done more to bless us. We can choose to act to give while everyday we ask God to give to us the desires of our heart. Let’s become households of faith and follow an important command that means so much more than just money.
God bless you, reader.