You’re still with me after having read that title? You’re hard core. I like your style. Let us traverse this sometimes terrifying, tumultuous trail together, shall we?
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “tithe” means “to pay or give a tenth part of, especially for the support of the church.” Well, alrighty, then.
Disclaimer: This blog post will be deliberately devoid of Scripture references simply because we ALL know them, have read them, and have heard them preached.
I now return you to the regularly-scheduled Tithes and Trust blog post.
Many pastors teach on the subject of tithing in modern-day churches. I am definitely not the authority on the subject, but I imagine that when a preacher speaks on tithes, there is likely backlash. Perhaps some sort of negativity among the saints. Let’s face it. Money talk just bothers us. It ruffles our feathers. It makes us uncomfortable. The last time Pastor Bob addressed this issue from the pulpit, I was regrettably not at church. Yes, I say regrettably because I wish I could have heard what he had to say about it, so interesting and convicting is it. I really need to ask him for that sermon’s teaching guide.
There are differing schools of thought on tithing: That the institution of tithing was issued in with the Mosaic law and therefore meant for the theocracy of Israel. That everyone should give ten percent of their pre-tax earnings to the church. That God doesn’t need anything, especially money, but that His church needs funds to operate and further His Kingdom. That none of the early church fathers taught of tithes but that the early church gave as anyone had need. And that is not even an exhaustive list of that which concerns the subject of tithes.
I’m going to simplify this. For myself, more than for anyone else. I have experienced periods of financial struggle. I have worried about my perceived lack of sufficient income. I have lost LOTS of sleep over the prospect of bills I could not pay on time. Do I like to admit this financial difficulty to you? No, not actually. But -- and this is a very big but -- I was not tithing to my church at the time. Hogwash, you say. The two situations are not related. Ahh, but my Friend, they ARE.
Let me explain. When I was worried about money and bills, I did not trust God to provide for my needs. I. Did not. Trust God. After all, I’m here on earth working, and He’s up in heaven doing...what He does. He is surrounded by gold, emeralds, and rubies. I am surrounded by brick, mortar, and well, a mortgage. So you see, I had neither time nor faith to trust God. Sure, I spoke with Him daily and read His word. I enjoyed spending time with Him. I. JUST. Would not. TRUST Him. No way, no how.
Friend, I still earn the same amount of money I did five years ago. Perhaps a wee bit more. Not much, I assure you. But the DIFFERENCE now is that I TRUST my God. And with that trust, I have peace. Peace. Blessed peace. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night. I no longer lament the size of my paychecks. I no longer worry that I cannot pay a bill on time. And guess what? I tithe. Mind you, I am not saying this to brag. Absolutely not. And it’s not to make anyone feel guilt if they do not tithe. Absolutely not. This is for me. And for God. And His church. And besides, the amount I tithe is likened unto a pittance. I am, after all, a teacher. LOL
Another disclaimer: I do not tithe the first ten percent of my paycheck. I tithe my take-home pay. But Friend, I am learning to trust Him more and more, so with the upcoming school year, I am committing to tithing to God and His church from my first fruits. Did I say this all for you? No. I said it for me. And now that I’ve said it to you, I’m going to have to follow through with it, so that’s a bonus. Am I a bit scared? Perhaps. Do I KNOW God will bless me? Utterly. Will I trust Him? Emphatically.
So, what does all of this mean? What’s your ding-dang point, Kimberly? Well, it started with offerings. Because that’s all I could spare for God. The left-over funds. Then it graduated to ten percent of my take-home check. Because I was not quite ready to get real with trusting Him fully. This fall, it will become ten percent of my pre-tax and deductions pay. And I’m good with that. Because God is good to me. Will I perhaps not be able to eat out as much? Sure. Will I perhaps not be able to visit Starbucks as much? Oh, yes. Will I be missing out? Absolutely not.
Because I love and trust my God.
June 25, 2016