Thursday, November 15, 2012
Stop Giving Your Money To The Church
Recently I was blessed in a huge way. Someone mysteriously bought me new tires for my vehicle, another person gave me a really nice gift for my home, and another gave me some metal to finish a shed in my back yard. I was humbled and grateful for them all. I had been saving for new tires for about a year and each time I got close to the amount I needed, God told me to give it away. Once I gave it to the church as a special offering and two other times I gave it away in portions to people or organizations that had need. Now I didn’t give because I hoped I would get anything in return but because I saw the need to invest into the church and the lives of others.
I have tithed, given the first 10% of my income, to the church since I started working at age sixteen. I also consistently give an offering to the church and to other Christian ministries. When I receive a gift of any kind I always tithe on it (I tithed on the value of the tires, home gift, and the metal for the shed). Why? Because I believe God is my provider. He does it through my job and people but He is the owner who funnels it through them. I’m very thankful to the people but even more thankful to God. Tithing reflects a grateful heart that wants to give back to God a portion of what He has given us; in reality, what is already His. Tithing is our opportunity to show God that He is first in our lives. James 1:17 says that “every good and perfect gift is from above ...,” so we have an opportunity to tangibly show God He is the “owner” of our finances by giving back to Him the first of what He gives us.
There are three reasons why we should tithe. First, tithing reflects our heart. What is the most important thing to you? Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We can see the reality of that in the world today and the exaltation of the financially successful, and more personally you can see that by looking at your own checkbook. Secondly, tithing is biblical. Long before tithing was a practice of the Israelite people, Cain and Abel, the second generation of the human race, brought an offering to the Lord. The Lord blessed Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s. Abel brought the “firstborn of his flock,” while Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil” as an offering. God wants to be first. The following scriptures show how tithing is biblical. See also Malachi 3:10, Genesis 14:18-20; Genesis 28:22, Deuteronomy 26:1-2, and Leviticus 27:30. Thirdly, tithing is a benefit. God’s kingdom is built on multiplication, not division. God uses the tithe as an investment where everyone involved gets a return on the investment. Obviously, the church and the kingdom are blessed, and yet God’s nature is to also bless the giver. For more on how tithing benefits you and those you give to through the church, see 2 Chronicles 31:4-10.
Some don’t tithe because they’ve seen churches and pastors abuse it. But tithing has nothing to do with that…it is between you and God. We show God we trust Him, not our church or pastor. Stop giving your money to a pastor or a church - give it to God to a trusted church and pastor and let Him deal with how they deal with it. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says God loves a cheerful giver. This means a hilarious giver. We should give out of our hearts for Christ and His Kingdom work, not reluctantly or because of duty. When we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully. Don’t give to get, give to worship. God will reward but it may come in different form than how you gave.