(Scripture references from the NIV translation)
I recognize that there are those that either do not understand, or for whatever reason do not believe in tithing. That is a very personal decision that everyone must settle on for themselves. But there are many people, that although they may understand and believe in tithing, just cannot bring themselves to that kind of commitment – because they are fearful. They fear that by giving God 10% of their income, they will not have enough money to spend on the things they will need. The problem with that way of thinking is that they likely are not good stewards of any of their money. It is not the lack of that 10% in their bank account that is the problem; it is how they manage that remaining 90%.
People tend to spend so much on things that they want vs. things they really need. We all do it – I am very guilty of this myself. (However, I have committed to doing my best to change that.) We over-indulge ourselves with things that just are not necessary.
Just a few examples:
Instead of purchasing a travel mug and making ourselves a cup of coffee at home, doctored up the way we like it, we instead stop by our favorite coffee shop and purchase a fancy cup of Joe for several dollars. ChaChing!
Instead of shopping at department stores that offer name brand clothing at substantial discounts, we go to the big name box stores at the mall and pay outlandish prices for those same or similar pieces of clothing. (Or even better yet, quit worrying about whether or not it is some big name brand, there are very nice clothes out there made by unknowns.) ChaChing!
Instead of going to the grocery store and buying name brand foods, we could buy the store brands. When we buy the name brands we consequently spend much more for our groceries than necessary, unless they just happen to be on sale for less than the store brand. (To be honest, I have found that some of the store brands are 99% of the time as good as, or even better than, the name brand I had been using.) ChaChing!
There are so many more ways that we misuse our money. It only takes a bit of thinking, planning and executing our lifestyle to find ways to economize – to better use that 90%. We cannot allow money to become of such all-encompassing importance in our lives that it becomes our god. Remember what it says in 1 Timothy 6:10a: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (Please note that this verse is often misquoted. What it does not say money is the root of all kinds of evil, it says the love of money…)
We have to be certain that money is only in our lives for what it is intended and not put into such a high place that it corrupts. Matthew 6:24 says: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Jesus said in Luke 12:34: “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
Many years ago when I finally got myself to the point of tithing 10%, I also started putting 10% in savings. That left me 80% of my income to live on. You know what? I did it and I always had what I needed.
If you do not tithe and have financial concerns, you need to sit down and take a good hard look at how you spend your money – every penny of it. I would challenge you to start off by getting yourself a small notebook that you can keep with you at all times. Then for just one month, write down in that notebook every single penny you spend and what you spend it on. I would almost guarantee at the end of the month, you will be surprised – probably even shocked – at what you will see. You will see a lot of waste, I can almost guarantee it. You can then alter your spending habits and begin to see your way clear to better money management and the path to honoring your Lord with His very small, fair share of your income – that 10%.
Then…you can sit back and watch your blessing arrive. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Written by Karran Martin – January 2019 & Revised July 7, 2019