Habits #5: Tithing
Money, Things, God and Me
Why is money such a big deal? Maybe it is because we’ve been sold lies that money is more valuable than anything else, even more valuable than obeying God and following His ways. Money is nice. But the Bible says loving God is most important. Luke 16:13 says, “No one can serve two masters for you will hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Jesus said you can’t serve both God and money.
The Bible teaches that followers of Christ are to show their obedience to God in tithe. The word “tithe” actually means “tenth.” It goes all the way back to the beginning of time when God asked the Israelites, the followers of God to tithe, to bring their tithes and offerings to the Lord. Many times, it was the tithe of land. We refer to it now as a tithe of our finances.
Here’s a great question: why would the creator of the universe who created the stars and the oceans and the mountains need our money? What does God need with our money? Actually, He doesn’t need our money. He wants our heart. Many times, they’re very, very connected.
- Giving proves that I recognize God as the rightful owner
When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10
- Giving proves that I put God First in my life
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God.” This reply completely amazed them. Mark 12:17…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
- Giving proves I trust God to provide for me
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (See also Malachi 3:10)
When you give…
- Inspect your Heart (give cheerfully)
You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9:7
- Reject Recognition (give in secret)
Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you. Matthew 6:4
- Expect God’s blessing (get beyond expectations)
If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:38
One Last Thought: Giving back to God is a constant reminder that he is first in my life.