This was a comment on our tithing post that I thought everyone would like to read.
Do you have any advice for someone who grew up in a non-Christian home where finances were never discussed let alone tithing, who became a Christian and began working? After having a family, I learned more about tithing but now the budget is waaaaay too tight! In fact, the savings & income are dwindling with the economy so it’s going from tight to not enough. Any advice on tithing? Tina
Tina, tithing like so many things in a Christian’s life usually boils down to faith. Do I trust God? If we really logically thought about it, it doesn’t make sense – we trust Him to provide someplace unbelievable and special like Heaven for us but we can’t trust Him to provide groceries for us next week or pay our mortgage.
We often trust our employer more than God. Don’t we have faith that that employer is going to give us our paycheck at the end of each week? He is human but yet we trust him and take him at his word that he will pay us.
One of the great stories of faith is of Peter walking on the water (Matt. 14:29). It took a lot of faith to get out of the boat and walk to Christ, but there are a couple of things to note about that story. In vs. 27, Jesus said “Take courage….Don’t be afraid” before Peter started because He knew how easily we are frightened and encouraged us to do the right thing anyway. The other thing to note is that Peter only started sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus and started looking at the storms (financial problems?) blowing all around him.
In the same way, Jesus commanded Peter to come to Him and Peter obeyed in spite of the storms blowing all around. We need to do the same when God commands us to do something – even in spite of the storms we feel are causing us to sink.
We should do it not because God will strike us with lightning if we don’t (no, He won’t) but because we love Him and have faith that He will take care of the other things. Tithing in one way has nothing to do with money but with our hearts. In any relationship, whether with a spouse, child or friend there is a need for each person to love and to sacrifice to make it work… to have complete trust in the other person.
In a way we are telling God we don’t trust Him to help us or take care of us. How that must break His heart in the same way our heart would break if our child or spouse would tell us (if not in words, in actions) “I don’t trust you or have faith in you that you will help me or do what is best for me.” I know I break God’s heart and hurt Him so often with things I don’t realize I am doing that if I have anything I can do to show my love I jump right on it and tithing is one of those things.
Is there any place in your finances you would be willing to make a real sacrifice so you can tithe? Be brave and next paycheck, just take 10% off of the top and see if the rest of your bills don’t get paid anyway. I personally would use my savings. Are you trusting in the savings to see you through more than God? These are all things to think about. These are all ways to stretch our faith and to grow.
I know it is scary to step out and start doing that, which is why Jesus said "Do not be afraid," but once you do, you can’t believe what comes after that. You will have very little to fear in your life once you find that God really does take care of us no matter what.
My finances and my needs being met never work out on paper. Most people who tithe will tell you the same thing. I don’t know how it happens- it just does. Bottom line – tithing has nothing to do with money, only with faith.