So… As I’m sitting having my daily shot or two of my really good coffee, I’m thinking… about where I’ve been, and how I got… to where I am…
And… I think it might just be a matter of choices… Choosing to walk an honorable path in life certainly helped, but even though I did that and worked hard to achieve, it still wasn’t the whole, of it. There was more, more than I did, for sure!.. that…got me to where I am…
G-d has more to with my success than me
…and He’s more faithful, too!”
Deut. 14:22-28 gives indication that tithing is for administrative support of the priesthood, Prov. 3:9 tells us to Honor G-d with our wealth but Mal 3:8-12 really gives us something to think about; at the heart of the issue is Trust in G-d. and… Honoring Him with a better walk.
For me tithing is simple; in our household we tithe as testament to who G-d is, with acknowledgement that it is He who is provider for our successes! We return what He asks joyfully because we recognize who is the source of what we have, and it isn’t about the money! For us, tithing is about Honor.
I’d like to explain what it means by sharing our family story in reference to tithing: As a former Marine, I had only recently committed my life to living for G-d. I had a small business, and was struggling mightily to be successful. We tithed, but tithing was more like…what we could ‘afford’! We paid bills first, the house payment, then bought food and other necessities; only after that would we… tithe.
Usually we found that we never had money enough to go around, which meant we …didn’t usually…tithe. We were in a ‘death spiral’ financially which didn’t make sense because I made pretty decent money! Problem was there was always something happening to ‘rob’ away what we thought we had; illness, the loss of a child, increased school costs (I was also attending university), mechanical breakdowns, and equipment failures. No matter what we did, we simply never had enough. And…we really wanted to tithe!
I think now that we were involved in a life-course called “Secular Tithing 101”. We essentially gave when we …’could afford to’ (meaning almost never) yet, we had prayed together when we purchased our home that G-d would be the foundation for our home and family life. I can’t really say exactly what it was that created the change in mine and my wife’s hearts. But I had come to the realization during prayer and studies that I…we… were somehow wrong in our way of living. I approached my wife with a simple and straight-forward idea; “no matter what and because we do love G-d, let’s acknowledge Him. Let’s acknowledge Him FIRST… we will give our tithe as ‘first-fruits ‘ because we know He loves us and we want him to know we love Him!”
We agreed that no matter what, we would tithe first; we wouldn’t just write a check first then hold it until all other financial needs were met, either.
The FIRST money out of our account would be tithe, and if we didn’t have enough for other things then that was just too bad for us. This was an ‘Idea from our Heart’. It didn’t make financial sense and it didn’t have to. Very simply, our heart’s desire was to let G-d know He was First in our lives. We meant it and we started immediately doing what we agreed upon. We tithed with joy and understanding that we put G-d first in everything. We knew we were going to lose our home and business and I’d have to start taking classes only as and IF we could afford it. I was always a good worker and my wife was skilled in administration. We’d find something and ‘make it work’… Would you believe, or would anyone believe, unless the following actually happened to them? We didn’t lose our home! In fact the very next day after we together gave our first true tithe something happened! To me then, and now, it was simply miraculous! I had just had a job cancel at the last minute; I needed to pay for my next semester of school that I desperately wanted to complete; we had a large medical bill to pay; we had a house payment to meet, and we simply didn’t have enough for groceries. My wife gave me part of the last bit of cash after most of what we could pay was meted out.
I headed down to campus and was standing in line so I could make a ‘partial-payment’ for courses <ha! I was using a system loophole, allowing me to get all seat cards for my classes – by the time their computer system caught the fact I hadn’t made full payment I usually had the money>; that however…changed. As I stood in line I was told I no longer needed full payment – I could pay 35 dollars (exactly what I had) and the university would give me 4 months to pay the bill from then on with NO interest! …WOW!
I rushed home and my wife said we had a phone call; I picked it up and was informed that, while praying, a certain couple felt led to help me out financially so they had forwarded a sum of money to my bank and it would be available to us for our ‘needs’. I was… shaken,.. what just happened?! Then I got another call; a potential customer had heard that I was very good at what I did and would I be interested in bidding a job to be done…immediately?… That job took me less time to complete than the one I had just lost would have, paid almost double ‘net’ what I would have grossed on the other job, and led to a number of other jobs…consecutively! And it didn’t stop there…
What a change! We always had enough and were able to start saving. Within a very short time my wife no longer needed to work. We paid off our home many years under contract time, and were given another wonderful child.
I moved on to a Military and Federal career that eventually led to a simple, adequate retirement, graduated from the University and am now able to pursue education in an area I am confident G-d wants me to pursue.
G-d’s word in Malachi rings true, “Test me in this and see if I will not throw open floodgates and pour out so much blessing…” ‘So much’ … Believe me…that ‘blessing’ is more than money!
How great G-d is! Finally, while tithing is a physical act; the act of tithing is, simply, a representative of our heart’s focus! To Honor the Living G-d… How Great HE is!