Well, it is that time of year again, tax time! And with tax time comes our annual report showing how much we gave in tithes for the year. I am sad to say that this year I am disappointed with the result of our tithes. The proof is there for us in black and white, we did NOT tithe our ten percent. I felt frustrated, disappointed and ashamed when I saw the amount we gave. Fingers were pointed and excuses started flying out of our mouths. We began to rationalize our lack of giving by pointing out our increased expenses and the pay cut my husband had taken, but we both knew the truth. We were exercising a lack of faith in the Lord to provide by our disobedience. It is that simple.
So, why should we tithe? Because God tells us to tithe. Malachi 3:8-12 gives explicit detail of what happened to Israel because she did not offer God tithes. “You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.” A curse on the whole nation seems so harsh at first glance. Doesn’t God know that we have to pay the electric bill? Surely he will not mind if we buy groceries first, will he? This is the mentality that caused us to become behind in our tithing. We will catch up next week, next month, at the end of the year. It is so easy to lie to yourself and justify your actions. When we do this, we start down a slippery slope. Before you know it, you are in our shoes, looking at the numbers and wondering how did this happen?
The amount we tithed is a confidential matter that only me, my husband and God are privileged to know the information. So, when I say that I am ashamed, it is not that I am ashamed to face man. No, I am ashamed to face God. I feel so unappreciative. It is not just that God owns everything and only asks me for a small percentage back as a sign of my faith. It is that God has blessed me so much even in the face of my blatant disobedience. The Lord has increased my wealth even with my husband’s pay cut by opening other financial opportunities, blessed my home with good health and he has kept his hand of protection over my family. I thank him for that. He could have chosen to curse me as He did Israel. But, God always gives second chances to His children.
When I look back at what God did for me this past year, I cannot help but wonder how much more blessed we would have been if only we had been obedient to God’s word. God tells us to “test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it (Malachi 3:10). When I think about what is being asked of me, to give something as small as ten percent of my earnings, in exchange for blessings so abundant you will not have room for them, it seems just plain stupid of me to have not tithed the full amount. The fact of the matter is that God owns one hundred percent of what is mine, for Him to just ask for ten percent is Him just asking for a small token to prove our faith in Him. When your children ask you for change, don’t you give it to them? It means nothing to you; it is only a small fraction of what is in your wallet. Our attitude should toward tithing should be the same; it is only a fraction of the blessings God has given to us.
Lord, I am in awe of your mercy. I thank you for your love and I am grateful that you love me even when I blatantly disobey you. I am sorry for my sin and I want you to know that I do love you and trust you. Lord, I know you will provide us with all that we need and then some! Thank you for the second chance to show you I that I have faith in you.