Check out this week’s podcast @ https://anchor.fm/jasmine-lozano4/episodes/Boot-Camp-The-Importance-of-Giving-and-Money-Management-evms05
I know, I know! No one wants to hear or talk about money. And I think that speaks volumes as to why so many people struggle with it. Money, giving, tithing, saving, investing, and debt has become an off limit subject for many people, both in and outside the four walls of the church.
For years, money issues have been listed as one of the top reasons married couples divorced for both Christians and non-Christians. The majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and wouldn’t be able to handle a $500 emergency without using credit. In the last 5 years, over 2.5 million people have filed bankruptcy.
But it’s not just individuals and families who are struggling financially. According to ChristianityToday.com, more churches close their doors every year because they are unable to pay their bills than for any other reason.
I find it surprising that even though about 40% of Jesus’ parables dealt with money, the people of God struggle with finances in the same manner as the people of the world. I’m not pointing the finger. I only recently have been able to become debt free through God’s provision and grace.
When I became a Christian in 2006, my church offered both a new members class and a class for new Christians that introduced me to the principle of tithing. I’ll be honest; it sounded crazy at first. Giving 10% of “my” hard earned money to a church that seemed to be doing okay seemed counterintuitive.
But something happened when I gave my life to Jesus. I decided I would believe what he said. If he said it was more blessed to give than receive, I believed it. If he said I should give and it would be given to me, I believed it. I was taught in these classes that tithing was more about a person’s heart than a person’s money.
Jesus said that our heart was where our treasure was. In plain English, how and where you spend your money shows what matters to you most. For some people, recreation, vacation or entertainment is their priority. For some, it may be their children’s activities or personal hobbies. I spend money on all of these things, but not before I return to God what belongs to him already.
The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 8:18 that it is God who gives us the ability to get wealth. It’s because of him we can wake up, physically move our limbs, and even have the particular set of skills we need to allow us to provide for our families. And yes, I’m aware I quoted Liam Neeson.
Once we understand that everything belongs to him, it becomes less difficult to actually trust him with all we have. Tithing is simply a measure to show God not only are we thankful for what he’s blessed us with, but that we trust him in handling it as well.
When my family was getting out of debt, I was amazed at the supernatural increase we experienced and remembered something God promised in the book of Malachi.
“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. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” (Malachi 3:10-11 emphasis added)
I shouldn’t have been as surprised because God did exactly what he said he would do in His word. Because we had been faithful for years in tithing and giving, God was true to his word and poured out a blessing we couldn’t keep to ourselves. I’ll go into more detail in this week’s podcast with my special guest!
I encourage you to listen to my podcast this week as I dig deeper on the issue of finances. My guest and I will talk more about giving, saving, debt and other areas that God wants us to be successful in.