Every morning there’s that first decision of the day. What is the first thing that I should do? Although the first decision or action of the day may not seem so important, there’s one action that sets the arrow in the right direction, which to me is, reading the word of God.
I can’t count the amount of days where I’ve waken up on the wrong foot, looking at the wrong things on my phone, like the stock market, emails or googled something on my mind; then spent the rest of the day putting God last. Those days usually result in very little focus, getting not much done and feeling…eh.
But when I give the first time of my day to God, somehow, I get so much done, I’m very focused and more chipper than usual. There’s more to giving God the first tenth of your paycheck, but giving Him your first few minutes of the day really pays off. Days even seem much longer as if time was extended.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Matthew 4:4 says, “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
The idea of giving a portion of money away to charity can be an uncomfortable subject wanting to be ignored, but it is a part of doing and walking the walk and as doing other things for God can greatly impact ones life, so can tithing. When you don’t have much, every dollar counts, but that holding onto every penny can become a hindrance. The idea of tithing is not just about giving back to God and trusting Him with your wealth, but it is a sacrifice. Money often seems to be everything to this world, the most valuable thing in life. Some worship it, kill for it or even sell their soul to hell to have much of it on earth. The lust of the eyes creates a deeper desire for more money and some go through great lengths to feed that desire, even neglecting to pay their bills.
Trusting God with certain things like our health or relationships can be different from trusting in God with our money. If you trust God with the other things, why not trust Him with your money?
I have to admit, I’ve been there, holding onto my money so tightly. I found my faith and did not start tithing until a few years after. I always heard about how important it was in church and how in the bible God says to tithe, but I shrugged it off and thought it was just weird how God would need what I considered my money.
Malachi 3:8-12 says, 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse your whole nation because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.”
A tithe means a tenth, which means that a tenth of our income or whatever we make must go back to God. Those that don’t belong to a church might give to some charity, but for someone who goes to church and strives to walk with Christ it’s impertinent to give to the church, which is essentially giving to God. Thinking about it, money is necessary to purchase a church building or have one built. It also cost money to keep the place running, electricity, water, garbage and or maintenance or cleaning. In addition, some people dedicated forty hours a week to administrate activities to keep the ministry going and they have families to feed so they need a paycheck. Many people either don’t think about it or choose to ignore the need.
It does take a while to understand the concept of giving to a church. Thinking about it more, with all the money that goes into running a church, what is their main goal? They work together to reach the community, feed people with spiritual food, help guide the lost, distribute food and other necessities to those in need and most of all, spread the good news of God.
When tithing, giving the first is as important. We should never give God our leftovers, in other words, we get our paycheck at the beginning of the month, but don’t tithe until the last day. When we get paid, the tenth to God should be our first expense.
Genesis 4:3-4 says, “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.”
Back then, before currency was floating around, a person’s wealth was their land, the food grown from it and their animals that provided milk, meat and butter. Even today, a farmer’s wealth can be from their crops or animals. Imagine if a person who was raising bison to sell for meat had to give it away, especially is it was worth the most by weight.
It is a sacrifice. You’re taking an item that you value, probably the most, and sacrificing it, in other words, giving it to God. If you read through the Old Testament, people had to take their animal or buy one from someone, and sacrifice it to be cleansed from their sins. The animal was the sacrifice. Tithing is sacrificing a tenth of your wealth to God. In doing so, it’s letting go of the desire to posses money, which weakens its ability to posses you. Its like saying, “God you are far more important to me than money.” It’s putting less value on money and more value on God. It changes the heart into a more giving one. It can help to be more comfortable investing money aggressively when not holding onto it so tightly.
Tithing is powerful. I’ve heard story after story of incredible things that have happened when someone gives or starts tithing. Speaking outside the church. I assume giving can be looked at as karma, you give, then you receive. One of the stories is from someone who could not find a job for five years and as soon as he tithed, twenty minutes after, got a call for a job and was hired. Another story is someone who was looking for full-time work for so long and when she began tithing, not long after, she received an offer for full-time work. I’ve heard stories of people miraculously getting bills waived after tithing and those that constantly struggled began to have more than enough.
On top of the tithe, there is also an offering. An offering is going above the tithe. Before I started tithing I was searching for work for several months and as soon as I made the decision and tithed, I got a great offer for a job not even two weeks after. My experience with giving an offering has been seeing God open up doors that were not there in the first place. Sometimes there is no job opening, then all of a sudden a job that was not even there ends up popping up. Then there has been side gigs that were once given to another company, then taken back and given to me. Suddenly extra income comes in when I give above the tithe. The more I give, the more the Lord enables me to do better, which eventually leads to an increase in income. I also notice a greater ability to watch my spending and better manage my finances when I give my first ten percent and or an offering.
I’ve been giving to my home church and other charities for many years now and since then, I have not struggled. There have been times where I was late on my tithe and at those times, I always ended up paying for something I would rather not pay for, like a parking ticket or replacement for a punctured tire.
In the scripture, God says to test Him on it. I believe in tithing because I’ve seen the results of it in my own life and heard about how it’s blessed the lives of others. On the contrary, I hear some believers in the church always talking about their financial struggles, but never tithing. If only they would test it out and take a chance, they would see how powerful it really is.