Many years ago when I was a baby Christian I didn’t get the whole “tithe” issue. After all, if we were struggling to pay the bills, shouldn’t we instead use whatever money we had to stay out of debt? God knew where we were financially, right?
Since I was a stay-at-home mom with our special needs son, one of my duties was paying the bills every month, and sometimes I tried to hide from my husband how short our bank account was. And – since I know how some of you think – it wasn’t because I was spending needlessly (I’m actually known to be very cheap), but instead it was just that there were times when doctor bills and equipment needed for our son just put us over the top.
One day I was at a women’s Bible study which was led by a wonderful godly lady I loved deeply. I don’t remember exactly what we were studying, but somehow the conversation went into tithing and just how important it was to do what God says to do.
The lady leading the study said when she and her husband first met, she was amazed at the generosity of her husband in his tithes. He freely gave more than 10%.
One day she asked him why.
He stated it was because he had seen with his own eyes the continued blessings of God when he was faithful in giving to Him. God had blessed him over and over again – and he never had want of anything.
This stuck with the Bible study leader, and so she shared with us that she started giving more than the standard 10%, as well. She told us that it seemed the more freely she gave to the Lord, the more the Lord blessed her in all areas of her life.
In Malachi 3:7-12, the Lord tells Malachi to explain to the Jewish people why, once again, things were going badly – why it seemed as though God’s face had turned away from them:
‘Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.
‘But you ask, ‘How are we to return?”
‘Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.’
‘But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?”
‘In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. 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 you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your field will not cast their fruit,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the LORD Almighty.
I have to admit, after hearing my Bible study leader’s testimony I was still hesitant, but I made a plan to start writing my check for our tithe before paying all the other bills.
And yes, I was totally stressed out for awhile.
But let me tell you something. I have now been walking with the Lord for over 25 years, and even though sometimes finances have been tight, always we have had enough. Through the years raising our son, God brought so many miracles: Hospitals zeroing out our statements, therapy centers blessing us through grants which had been donated, and always having enough food, safe shelter, and automobiles to drive.
You’ve probably heard the saying: “You can’t outgive God.” And I can say: Amen!