Today’s post is hard to put into words. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but it transformed our lives. I keep feeling guilty by not writing about it, so here goes.
We’ve been trying to find a church for awhile. We’ve visited several churches, and we’ve loved them all. But, they were never close enough to home to make them practical– stupid living in the middle of nowhere! Last October, we stumbled into a church that is closer to home, and it seemed like a good fit. A few weeks in the pastor started a series on tithing. I’ve heard a TON of tithing sermons. It’s EXTREMELY awkward. First, people start shifting in their seats. Then, people start coughing and squirming in their seats. Next, the preacher says, “Money isn’t a comfortable thing to talk about in church, but…” Finally, everyone screams…”RUN!!!” and bolts out of the church.
This sermon was different. It was really a powerful sermon. The pastor talked about tithing and giving your money to God, but he also talked about the blessings you’d get in return. Specifically, I remember this this verse.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10.
The preacher said this verse is the only place in the bible where God says, “test me.” I thought, “wow, if I’m going to test God on anything, I guess here’s my chance. Maybe he could send me down a gold harp. Or a pearly gate to keep Pink and Rick inside the yard. Or a angel to take them on walks. Because I’m getting tired.”
Around that same time, we started on a huge adventure–paying off our mortgage. So, we thought about it, and then decided to start tithing. We give 10% of our income to the church. But, we’re not perfect about it. Sometimes we give at the beginning of the month, and sometimes we give at the end. One month, I didn’t tithe because we were trying to buy a foreclosure, so I doubled up the next month. Also we don’t even give based on our before tax income– we give based on our after tax income.
What I’m trying to say is, we haven’t been perfect about it– by far. Even with all that imperfection, God has bessed us tremendously. Since we started tithing six months ago, we’ve both gotten new jobs. And, we’ve both gotten raises. This is after three years of nothing.
It’s been pretty incredible to be a part of. We’ve been really blessed. The coolest part, is you don’t even have to be perfect. Because I’m not. I’m not even close to being a “good” Christian. Actually, I’m pretty pathetic most of the time. I like to drink wine–a lot! I don’t read the bible much outside of church. I can be jealous and mean, but He still blesses. It’s crazy to think He would bless us.
Wait, don’t get freaked out!
This post isn’t meant to persuade you. I don’t care if you tithe or not. It’s makes no difference to me. I’m only writing about it because since I’ve started writing about finances, I’ve felt awful for not writing about tithing. I was only telling you half of the story, because the ONLY reason we’ve been able to make progress on our goals is tithing. If we could get raises alone, we would have done it years ago. So, I guess I just want you to know how much it has done for us, and you don’t even have to be perfect while you do it. Tithing is our secret weapon. If you’re a Christian– even a sometimes sucky one like me– and you’re not tithing, you’re missing out. Because we tested Him. And He passed. Big time.
Do you give money to a church or charity? Have you seen results?