I’ve been an inconsistent tither my whole life. My excuse? “I don’t have extra money to give. He understands. He wouldn’t want us to go without.” Yes, He is an understanding God and yes, He loved me despite of my inconsistent tithing. And when I say inconsistent, I really mean hardly ever. I would normally tithe at church if I had cash on me the time. (I use my debit card for everything so I NEVER have cash on me.) Are you starting to see the pattern?
Just a warning here… I’m about to get really transparent and talk about things that I would normally never want the world to know. But, what God is doing in my life is so amazing and He can do it in your life too, so I just have to talk it. So here goes!
My husband and I were struggling with our finances for a while. About two years ago, I left my job and started a new career. A couple months after that, my husband did the same. It was a great move for both of us but the timing wasn’t the best and it put us in a financial tailspin. The job transitions put us behind on our bills and it seemed nearly impossible to get caught back up. On a good day, we were living pay check to pay check but most of the time, we were overdrawn on our bank account and the bills were piling up. With all of the late fees and overdraft charges, it was impossible to pay for everything and still have money to buy groceries. We started to make changes in our lives to get ahead – we became a one car family, we ate dinner at our parents’ house as often as we could, and we started budgeting like crazy.
During this time, God never let us go without. We still had a roof over our heads, clean water to drink, supportive parents that helped us tremendously – but it was still so hard to live this way. How could we ever start planning to have children if we can barely pay the utility bill?!
After countless efforts to save money and get our heads back above water, we realized that we couldn’t do this on our own anymore. I was out of ideas and nothing seemed to actually be working. I was so tired of being stressed all the time so I started to pray. I asked God for financial peace and for wisdom. I asked Him how we could make it out of this season and how we could find peace.
The moment I began praying He told me to tithe. I almost giggled inside thinking, “hmmm…. well that’s not what I’m talking about right now, God. I’m talking about not having any money to pay the bills.” Each time I continued to pray, He said, “tithe.” I was so confused. “Yeah, I totally intend to start tithing when we have money but the problem is that we don’t have any, God.”
It continued…. “Tithe”
So, I decided to obey. I wanted to develop a deeper understanding on the tithe so I started reading a book called, “Tithing – God’s Financial Plan,” by, Norman Robertson. That booked rocked my world and I seriously haven’t been the same since.
Robertson explains that “when you’re in obedience to God’s Word, you are placed in a position to be blessed financially.” Well, I wanted to be obedient to God AND financially blessed so I definitely wanted to test my faith on this. God promised he would bless me if I tithed and I believed Him. (and still do!)
“Bring your full tithe to the temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.” Malachi 3:10-11
Now, I’m one of those crazy budget people with the huge spreadsheets that tracks every cent that goes in and out of the bank account. I calculated my 10% to give as a tithe and was quickly able to see that it was virtually impossible to give 10% of my income and still pay all of the bills on time. Mathematics don’t lie – it’s impossible. But, I decided to do it anyway and trust the God would make sure everything worked out okay. And trust me, that was scary!
The Bible says in Proverbs 3 to give Him the first. Well, according to my calculations, if I was planning on tithing it was definitely going to have to be the first thing I do with my paycheck otherwise I wouldn’t have enough leftover to give. My paychecks are directly deposited into our bank account and I decided to take the 10% out in cash every time I got a paycheck. I would take the money out in cash and keep it until Sunday morning church, where I could give it back to God. This system proved to work really well for me since I normally don’t use cash anyway so with that money being withdrawn so quickly, it was as if it were never there to begin with.
It was scary at first knowing that, mathematically it doesn’t work out and that at least one of our bills will be late making us go back into the “catching up” phase. But, I knew that I needed to take a step in faith and obey God. I mean, He did tell me to do this like 3 or 4 times, ha!
“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all of your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:33
God started providing for us the same week we started the tithe. Somehow, we were able to pay all of the bills that month AND tithe 10%. That wasn’t supposed to happen according to my budget spreadsheet. But it did. God started doing so much more with our 90% than what we could have ever done with our 100%. This has been proven paycheck after paycheck after paycheck. And guess what! We don’t live paycheck to paycheck anymore! For the first time in a long time, we actually feel financially secure and all the glory be to God. God’s even placed us in a position to give to others which is something that I’ve always wanted to do but have never felt we were able to do.
It has been so exciting to watch God bless us and work in our lives and silly me, I even look forward to tithing each week! If we receive extra income, we tithe off of that too without any worry that we will be without. God promised He would provide and He keeps His promises.
When the holiday season came this year, we were able to bless our family and friends without getting off track with our bills. That’s probably normal for a lot of folks but for us, that was a miracle! And even better, God had bigger plans that I could have ever imagined. A few days before Christmas, my husband receive a promotion at work. We didn’t even see that coming. What a great God we serve!
We committed to the tithe only 7 months ago and God has transformed our lives tremendously in those short 7 months. I am sharing this story not to be boastful but to maybe give someone some hope. God’s got this and He will take care of you. When He gives you a word, obey – even if it’s scary. I still have days that I can feel stress or anxiety creeping in but then I remind myself what God is doing in my life and I am immediately at ease knowing that I am being taken care of. I’ve reached out to others about the tithe and have heard so many similar testimonies! It’s truly amazing to see what God will do if we obey His Word.
God loves a cheerful giver and that’s exactly what we should strive to be.
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