Before reading today’s devotional, open your bible and read Proverbs 3-4.
We can all remember our parents trying to give us advice; most of it we would disregard, at the time, but as we grew older we would wonder at their wisdom. I’m sure Solomon’s sons felt the same way about him:
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22
Can you imagine having a man like Solomon giving you advice? I hope his sons took their dad’s advice sooner rather than later. That is the hope of every parent I think—that their children will take their advice. I am glad that in everything my parents ever taught me, there is one thing that I have tried my best to do: Tithe.
As far back as I can remember my parents have always tithed. They would take their checks and move the decimal one spot to the left and give that amount to the church. When I was little and if I had any money, I would fill out my envelope with my name: Bethany Anderson and the amount I was tithing. Back then it was about $2 to $3 dollars. My favorite part about giving my tithe as a little girl was walking up the church aisle in the dress I chose for Easter that year, you know the kind: filmy fabric; swirly skirt; pink, blue, and green flowers; and a skinny, light, movie star scarf that inevitably got lost. I would float up to the giant basket on the stage steps and drop my envelope on top of the other offerings.
When I was 16, I got my first job at a Hy-Vee grocery store as a check-out clerk. My mom helped me set up my first bank account and soon after I received my first checkbook. I felt like an adult; writing checks with 2-digit amounts and signing my name. I gave religiously all through high school and didn’t stop until I reached college. Let’s just say that for 4 years I gave sporadically since I didn’t have a good home church. But that’s a different blog post. I noticed a distinct difference in my life when I tithed back then and when I tithe now. There is a peace that washes over me along with a sense of rightness.
King Solomon, like my parents, wanted to impart the wisdom he had gained to others. He wrote in Proverbs 3:9 to:
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then our barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Just like what Solomon said, when I tithe God blesses me. It is often in small ways: A pay raise at work, a scholarship opportunity, a way to make ends meet. But that is not why I tithe. I give back to God because that 10% of my check isn’t mine. Some might say, “Well what does God need with my money? He is a God after all.” However, it’s not God himself that needs our worldly goods, it’s the church. It is through the church that God reaches the hurting and lost people of this world. That is why it is necessary for you to be sure that your church uses your tithe in a good way. Don’t give unless you feel called to give, not because you feel pressured. Peter even wrote to the church in Corinthians that:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
The first step to cheerful giving? Find a church home. It’s that simple, guys. Find out what they believe, where the tithes and offerings go, and how they manage their money. Then you can have peace that your tithe is going towards what God wants. It’s amazing how living on 90% of your income can be more freeing than living on 100%.
Take the leap, join me in the peace God grants to those who are obedient and wise enough to follow counsel. Give 10% and live 90%. It’s better than 100%.
Featured image by Blake Lisk