For today’s Monday Minute, Jennifer touches on tithing. Find out how God changed her mind and proved himself faithful in her family’s finances.
When Tithing Feels Like Too Much
by Jennifer Wake
“I can’t do it! If I put money in the offering plate, I won’t have money for what I have planned to do this month.” This was my monthly argument with God.
When I was a new teacher in West Virginia, my first paycheck was HUGE. More money than I had ever received at one time. By the end of the third month, things were way different. I had to pay rent, utilities, food, gas, insurance and so much more. I even had to pay my phone bill which had long distance charges to friends and family on it. Those charges alone doubled between the first and second months because I missed my family so much.
My paycheck covered everything I needed and many luxuries like cable TV and trips back home. Yet tithing felt like it was too hard to manage. I would wait until the last Sunday in the month to think about putting money in the offering plate. I usually had a little cash in my wallet so I would toss that in after arguing with God while waiting for the plate (I sat in the middle so it took a while).
The Turning Point
The first Sunday in February, the church I was attending had a guest preacher. This preacher was young but bold. He preached on giving money to the church. He called it tithing and when he was finished I had no choice but to concede my argument to God. God was right and I was wrong.
The preacher provided me a new perspective. I had been looking at giving money to God as the leftovers from my life. That was backwards thinking. God deserves the first part of my paycheck not the leftovers from my spending. The pastor taught on the story where Abram meets Melchizedek, king of Salem.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Abram receives a blessing and instantly gives a tenth of everything he owns to God. He doesn’t hesitate or think about all his bills or where he will live. He gives ten percent back to God. The pastor called this tithing. Tithe means a tenth of your annual earning or produce. Tithes support the work of God through His Church.
Tithing Blesses Us and Others
This preacher’s message touched my heart and gave me pause. The next payday, I wrote a check for a tenth of my earnings and put it in the offering plate. I can honestly say it was hard to do for the first year, maybe two. Each time I wrote the check, I would pause and worry about having enough money, but when I put it in the plate, I stopped worrying.
I left my teaching position, when my husband joined the military. We had to rebalance our budget, but we continued to tithe. It wasn’t always easy. When I was a mom of three littles in Germany, diapers and formula ate up a huge chunk of each paycheck. The military gave us “COLA” to help with the additional costs associated with living in Germany, but it wasn’t enough. There were months when I thought we would not have enough to make it to our next payday. Yet God would always provide through friends, finding diapers in the back of cabinets, and in so many strange and wondrous ways.
Giving God the first part of everything you earn will bless you as well as the people your gift serves.
Rise Up To Tithe
Pause Hit pause on the doubts running through your mind. God has been with you in tough times as well as good times. He won’t leave you when you tithe.
Submit Instead of arguing with God every paycheck, I now submit to Him about tithing. Every year He burdens my heart to make sure I am giving to the church and to missionaries.
Pray Along with writing a check or setting up direct payment to send my tithes, I also pray for the church and all the missionaries we support. We give to our local church, our home church, and to missionaries around the world.
Lord, thank you. Thank you for giving me everything I have, every penny I earn comes from you. Thank you for blessing me with a home and all the things in it. I ask for your continued blessing on us so we can bless others. I pray for each person who is touched by our tithe to be strengthened. Amen.
Take a look at these great blog posts for more financial encouragement:
Top 10 Money Matters Tips for Military Life
5 Ways to Teach Finances to Children