As a Christian, I have seen people who feel that paying one's tithes is optional. I had some friends who always paid their tithes...."if there was enough left over." I think some people don't understand the purpose of tithe paying. Maybe their church doesn't talk about it much. Maybe they didn't have tithe paying parents as role models. Maybe they do understand the importance but they just don't have enough faith to see how it will work. Are you one of these people?
Going back to the friends of mine...the husband was raised by a single mother. They didn't have enough to go around. They attended church from time to time, but it was more to seek help from the church than to have an active role. This man has come a long way since then. He married a beautiful woman and had two children. He wasn't able to go to college but had always had a descent job. They rent a house in a nice neighborhood and are relatively happy. But money has always been tight. While talking with my husband about tithing, the man mentioned that he believes in tithing but doesn't always have enough left at the end of the month. Adding up the numbers, it just doesn't work out.
My husband, surprised by what he heard, explained to his friend that he was doing it all wrong. You don't pay your tithes if you have enough left. You pay your tithes first and have faith that God will provide all you need. If you don't have faith, why would God bless the tithe you pay only sometimes? This friend and his wife changed the way they did things. They wrote their tithe check before they wrote checks for any other bills. Their marriage problems diminished, they could suddenly afford a new car, and they found true happiness in the church.
Another friend of mine told me she always paid her tithes but did it grudgingly. She wasn't a cheerful giver and felt bitter about giving 10% of her income before taking any for herself. She said that she received a revelation one day - something snapped and she finally got it. She changed the manner in which she paid her tithes and said that life changed for the better. They never struggled financially, but when they became cheerful givers, God blessed their lives in ways beyond explanation.
If you are not giving your 10%, you are cheating yourself. God wants to bless your money. He wants to enrich your life. But if you don't trust in Him and have the faith that He will see you through, He can't work in the ways He wants.
If you want to be a successful tither and see God's blessings in your life, remember these tips:
- Be a cheerful giver. Thank God that you have money to tithe on.
- Tithe first. Before you pay the electric bill, cell phone bill, or cable bill, pay your tithes. It demonstrates your faith.
- Tithe consistently. Don't miss a week. You're only cheating yourself.
- Pray that God will bless your tithe. You don't always get to see where it goes or what purpose it serves, but your tithe is going to further the Kingdom of God.
- Teach these things to your children. Start at a young age. If they see you tithing, they will learn that it's a part of life that requires no questioning. Encourage them to give 10% of any money they make. Seeing my kids put a dime in our tithing envelope thrills me to no end. Start them off on the right track.