Growing up, I was not taught to tithe. It was years later as an adult watching John Hagee speak on TV regarding tithing that it began to sink in. The information was powerful and new to me. I tried to ignore it, but everywhere I turned (tv, radio, internet broadcasts) someone was teaching about tithing. I had no idea why tithing was important. My unwillingness to understand tithing early in my walk with Christ was partly because my husband is an unbeliever. The thought of having a conversation with him to say we need to give 10% of our money to the church was scary.
I prayed and fasted for a few days. I could not take it any longer, so I told the Lord He needed to speak through me. I sat down and explained to my husband that we were not handling our money properly. I shared how we could not out give God (Mal. 3:10). We discussed how we had so much to be thankful for that the least we could do is honor Him by tithing.
That was it. God did it. Not me, not my words.
God blessed us mightily. We saw a difference in his paychecks immediately. Infact, within eight to nine months our income doubled. At this point, my husband had the idea of having a financial advisor help us to invest money. You see, my husband did not see God’s hand, he saw the work of his own hands. What happened next is the outcome of having ungodly advisors give counsel. The first thing the advisor did was comment on our tithing. He put fear into my husband’s head.
As a result, my husband told me there would be no more tithing. Instead, he told me to give a certain dollar amount. I was crushed. I cried and prayed, telling the Lord I did not know what to do. During that time we were receiving phone calls from a number I did not recognize. I ignored the calls. One day I answered the phone out of frustration only to realize it was from God.
Actually, it was from a woman at a Christian television network calling to thank us for a recent donation. She asked if there was anything she could pray with me about.
The flood-gate broke. Between sobs, I explained the situation. I did not want to live outside of God’s will and blessing for our lives. The lady listened patiently then explained her situation was almost exactly the same. She shared with me how the Lord directed her to tithe on her grocery money. I felt that was a doable thing for me too.
I took this to the Lord and asked Him what He wanted me to do. He showed me that from any money that came into my hand I was to take 20% out. He instructed me to give 10% as my tithe and set the other 10% aside until He told me to give it away.
What did He mean by money that comes into my hand? Any checks that are made out to me, grocery money, or money my husband gives me to run errands. Sometimes the Lord will prompt me to give $20 from the saved money. Other times the money accumulates for weeks or months and then the Lord will bless someone with a few hundred dollars.
A word of encouragement to anyone who is in a similar situation, remember that it is very hard for someone to understand God’s principles without the Holy Spirit. Be patient, follow God’s lead–His Spirit will show you the way.
Name withheld by request.