I’ve had the concept of tithing on my mind for a while now. Two reasons, actually.
A while back ago, my blogging friend Lauren posted about her perspective on tithing. Also a while back ago, my church hosted a “Love Without Limits” offering where we’ll be giving $50,000 a year to the Ithemba School in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. Adopting the school means we must have full dependence on God in order to achieve the “Love Without Limits” dream.
As part of the “Love Without Limits” dream, Pastor Matt had a special sermon about taking risks of faith. I’ll touch more on this in a future post, but one of those risks including giving tithes and offerings. Pastor Matt emphasized that it’s not a “money call,” but a command from God, and he gave us some tips on stepping out and trusting God. “If you’re giving nothing, start giving something. If you’re giving sporadically, start giving consistently. If you’re giving consistently, start giving a tithe (10%). If you’re giving a tithe, start giving progressively more.”
Here’s the thing that I’m embarrassed to admit on the Internet, for the whole world to read. I am a selfish person. I don’t want to give my money or share my stuff. My idea of “tithing” was throwing spare change into the offering basket once in a while and calling it good. I was nowhere close to giving back just 1% of my income.
But like it says in Malachi 3:10, giving back to God what is already His allows Him to bless us even more. I can tell you firsthand how it’s true.
After the “Love Without Limits” day, I started giving consistently. Nearly every Sunday (and Tuesday, since that’s when the Wesley Foundation meets) I was giving a dollar or so. I have to admit, it was painful seeing my dollars disappear. I didn’t bother to track how much money I’ve given, because for me personally, I wouldn’t look at the big picture and instead focus on how much money I don’t have anymore. Then, I swapped out my $1 bills for $5 bills. It was even more painful seeing that money disappear.
And through this short time of sporadic giving, I have already been blessed more than I ever could have imagined.
The day before All Campus Sing, I gave my very last dollar to the offering at the Wesley Foundation. As I was putting it in the offering basket, part of me wanted to snatch it up and put it back in my wallet. When I arrived at ACS the next day, I had exactly zero dollars. They were selling food on the lawn and I really wanted a snow cone. Out of nowhere, my sister texted me and asked, “Do you want a snowcone from the SAI tent? I’ll buy you one.” I could have cried tears of happiness (In fact, I’m honestly crying just typing this!) That $1 snowcone was truly a gift from God.
As I continued to give consistently at church, I began to run out of money. But I kept giving anyways. Imagine my surprise when my boss gave me some money on my last day of work! It was completely unexpected as I already get paid to work for her anyway. Again, it was a true gift from God.
The biggest surprise was when I was worried about how I would pay for my last semester of college. I won not one or two, but three departmental scholarships worth a total of $3866!!!! Yet again, a blessing from God.
I could go on and on about how God has blessed me even more now that I’ve committed myself to giving Him the money He gave to me. But it comes down to this: When you give back to God, He blesses you even more.