Read: “Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled ‘yes’ because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,’ but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that ‘God loves a cheerful giver.’ God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (VOICE)
Reflect: Money is not an easy subject to talk about and the concept of tithing can make many believers uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I have seen many preachers use manipulation when encouraging their members to give, but this is far from Jesus’ teaching. God never uses manipulation or control in order to gain a person’s finances. God does not need our money. What God desires is our heart and an act of obedience.
I never used to give God my first and best. I would give based on what “surplus” was left. A few years back, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to test him in the area of tithing. Did you know tithing is the only area that God asks us to actually “test him”? (Malachi 3:10) I’m going to be honest, it was not easy at first. My income is solely commission based, and is not guaranteed. To give off the top when I wasn’t sure when my next paycheck would come was difficult. But as I began to trust him, he began to bless me more than I could hope for.
You absolutely do not have to tithe. God will still love you just as much whether you tithe or not. However, when we make the decision to tithe out of our own free will and start trusting him with our finances, scripture says that “God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings that you could ever imagine.” Are you willing to test him in this area?
React: If you are resistant to the concept of tithing, spend some time reflecting on why that is. Determine if your views about tithing are being shaped by biblical or worldly views. Tithing is about your relationship with God, not about what other people are or aren’t doing.
Pray: Father God, help me to be a good steward of what you have blessed me with.