• Giving & Tithing Vol. 1

    Have you ever pondered the importance of giving? Is there anything specific that comes to mind when you think about giving? Maybe feelings of joy when someone gave you something without expecting anything in return or guilt in that same situation where you felt undeserving of the gift. For those who believe in Jesus and follow the bible there are many verses on giving such as:

    Luke 3:11 NKJV
    He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.

    Malachi 3:10 NKJV
    Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.

    Proverbs 28:27 NKJV
    He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

    Now I must admit, I am no theologian, nor have I been in church my entire life; to be quite frank I'm more of a recovering rule setting pharisee saved by grace (thank God and please pray for me). What I am alluding to, specifically my giving in church, is I went from not tithing, to tithing on my net, to tithing on my gross, to setting a standard for myself [and others, unbeknownst to them] that tithing off the gross is the only way and you're WRONG if you don't, to now beginning to understand more of how giving, tithing, or both changed my perspective on money.

    Picture Provided: here
    My story is a little different and it comes from a tithing perspective so if you are not a believer in God, please consider the concepts and include giving in your monthly budget.

    With that, I remember about  5 years ago I began to attend church regularly, was baptized, and even decided to start paying tithes. I would look at my check for the month, then look at my bank account and figured 10% of my take home pay was manageable plus I would be considered a "good Christian" (in my mind at least) plus I heard tithers get a tax write off... so why not!?! As time went on I met a girl (who is now my wife) and we were getting serious so naturally a money discussion happened. Somehow we got on the topic of tithing (God works in mysterious ways lol) and she told me she was taught to always tithe on the gross. I thought to myself, "The GROSS!?!?" "That seems like a lot." Once we got off the phone my perspective starting changing. I started praying about it and I had a real back & forth struggle with God on the topic. I started asking myself why do I give? Are they doing right with the money I give to church? Is the gross too much God? It was rough for about 3 months or so. Then, I decided to tithe on the gross because that's the right thing to do and that is the "standard". Of course that meant when I observed people didn't  live up to the standard I set I would judge them on occasion, never openly but in my mind (just telling the truth).

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    Picture Provided By: https://scienceofzen.com/science-giving-helping-helping-others

    That's how it was for me until recently, through some sermons, Sunday School Lessons, & prayer I realized tithing and giving for me is all about doing what God has called me to do and well... that's it! Pleasing people by giving, thinking God loves me more or less if I give, someone trying to guilt me into giving, being overly worried about what people do with the money I give after I give it, etc. I found to be toxic reasons for me to give. In contrast, giving with the right motivation has helped me grow a stronger relationship with God, people, & money (strange I know). This is how:

    1) God


    First, I realized that God's love is not based on my performance. He loves me because He made the choice to do so (and gave His Son for me too). His grace and mercy allows me time to grow, learn, and strive to live my best life. He also wants me to talk to Him about... EVERYTHING!!! The good, bad, and ugly including what I do with and feel about money. Although a tithe is by definition a tenth of income before I give it I should ask (I'm getting better at this) Him what is motivating me to tithe? Is it checking a box? Is it people? Is it that I'll feel God favors me more? Is it what I was or was not taught? Or is it that I trust God and He will do what He says He will do in scriptures such as Malachi 3:10? This helped me to understand myself better and how to be more in alignment with my heart posture with God when it comes to my actions, especially with money.

    2) People


    Understanding that everyone is not on the same spiritual level which affects their giving in many ways. They have a walk with God just as I do, so it would probably be more advantageous to pray for them about what God wants them to do rather than mentally judging them (even if it's slightly). It's one thing if someone is asking me for advice on tithing, it's another for me to tell them the "rules" of tithing. The people aspect of giving helped me to see that we all have issues, as you can see from this post I have some major problems, so instead of tearing others down why not lift them up? We all need it! Giving helped me to better encourage and love others because in most cases I have felt what they felt and thought what they thought when it comes to tithing.

    3) Money


    My perspective on money changed once I started tithing for the correct reason, for me that reason is trusting God. Rather than saying, "God owns everything" I started to apply the concept to my life. I figured since everything is God's I know He doesn't need my money but He is asking me to tithe so what is He trying to teach me? So far I've determined two things:

    • To Trust Him
    • To Be a Good Financial Steward

    Trusting God is key for believers but if I spend all of my money for the month on junk in the first two weeks and say I trust God is going to get me through this month, something isn't quite adding up. Knowing and prioritizing giving 10% each check really stops me from consuming my entire check. It helped me to realize, very quickly, that my financial resource is limited to my household's paycheck(s) so it's best for me to really know where each dollar I have is going. Now, God can expand that financial resource but how can I expect Him to do that if I don't at least attempt to be a good steward? To be honest, if I can't give at least 10%, live on, enjoy, save, and invest the remaining 90% then there are other issues going on such as income, spiritual, or emotional that need to change. As weird as this sounds, giving money helped me to be more diligent about what I do with each dollar I earn.

    Picture Provided: here
    I hope this story was a blessing to you and if you get nothing out of this please understand that when it comes to giving it can really change your life in ways you didn't think were possible. It definitely did in my case. If you are struggling with giving or tithing have an honest conversation with God, ask Him about His Word, and seek good counsel you trust on the topic. I am more than confident He will show you the way. Be blessed and give generously as the Lord is guiding you.

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    "Where you choose Faith over Fear for your Finances"     


    1. Thank you for sharing this! After my divorce, I definitely was questioning my ability to continue tithing in the same manner. My ex rarely attended church with me but was quick to say that my act of tithing covered the entire home although our incomes were not combined. ❤️ Ms. Gainey

      1. I'm happy you enjoyed the post! Thanks for reading and please share if you think it would be helpful to someone else!

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