I have the privilege of talking with pastors from different denominations and church sizes. One of the consistent things that come up in my conversations with them is how to grow their church in a healthy way. In order to grow in a healthy way, we do a health check of their current congregation. We look at the spiritual disciplines of the people who attend. Are they self sufficient Christians or are they solely dependent on the church? Are people being taught how to grow in Christ and given the tools they need to accomplish that? Giving of tithes comes up too, and I’m always shocked at how few Christians give their tithe (10% of their income). It’s a spiritual discipline that speaks to where our heart truly is.
There’s very few things in life as important to us as money. I often explain to sales reps that money represents freedom. It’s the freedom for people to live where they want, go where they want, do what they want and buy what they want. When you, as a sales rep, ask for someone’s money, you’re asking them to give up some of their freedom in exchange for what you have to offer. That same freedom mentality goes with people into the church and they’re not willing to give up what they think is freedom. What we forget is that freedom and income come from God. It’s a way of appreciating God for the blessings and freedom He has given us. If our mentality is that it’s ours, then we have a harder time giving it to Him. When we don’t give it to Him, Malachi quotes God as saying we are robbing Him and ourselves.
Giving our tithe results in more freedom for us. In Malachi 3:10 God says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” (NLT) Giving of our tithe opens the windows of heaven over our lives and provides more blessings and freedom than we can contain. It also recognizes that God is our source and that everything we have is His. By not giving it, we are telling Him what we have is ours and we only need Him for moral guidance. Jesus said you can’t serve God and money. The best way to find out who you’re serving is if you’re tithing or not. Don’t rob God or yourself by not giving it. Tithing is as much an act of faith as anything else and shows God where our heart is. When we give it, we open ourselves to the blessings God has in store for us.
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2 responses to “Stored Up Blessings”
Hi Chris, thank you for your regular encouragement!
Just a thought on tithing, I find it’s sometimes an awkward part of a Church service when tithes are collected, because I’ve heard people tweet, speak and post thoughts about perception of people tithing, but If only the left hand didn’t know what the right hand is doing, or if the depth of our giving was only assessed by our Lord. I’m not above assessing motives myself (Romans 7…), maybe EFT is the best way to manage Church based giving, or as some Churches provide boxes in discrete locations in foyer.
I know of so many who give in many practical ways other than in visible currency at local Church, such as sponsoring poor in other countries, serving others with time, anonymous donations… Our Lord knows the depth and motive of the heart that man can’t see (Acts 5, Mark 12:42).
Kind regards Andrew
Thanks for the input. I agree it’s always an awkward part of service. The church I attend now just mentions it as people are leaving. There’s no plates being passed around to help prevent the awkwardness.
In removing that, churches need to be at least teaching the importance of tithing and the blessings that come with it.
I also agree there are many ways to give. However, I believe there are differences between tithes and offerings. We’re told to bring the tithes into the temple. Offerings are the giving above and beyond tithes and to me can be given anywhere and with our talents.
I like the idea of EFT and use it myself. Some traditionalist think that’s wrong. I like it for ease of use, the secrecy of it and because it truly allows us to give our first fruits. In an electronic, connected world, we can give tithes right after they’re direct deposited into our account.
I also agree that motive is also only known by the Lord. Jesus stood by the boxes in the Temple and watched people give and showed their motives to the disciples. He knew the widow had given all she had and it was from a grateful heart. Ultimately I believe we need more teaching on giving and that will open the windows of Heaven in believers lives. Thanks again for your thoughts and encouragement.