I don’t normally post things like this, but this is something I’ve been thinking about recently, and is near and dear to my heart. We went through a rough patch financially a couple years ago, and I just wanted to share a bit of our life to help encourage you and let you know that you can overcome anything.
Tithing is something that all Christians were asked to do by God. Leviticus 27:30 says “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” This means that 10% of what we have – whether it’s money or crops – should go to God first. Really, everything we own is God’s, but all He asks in return is 10% of what we have. Our tithes go to the church, where it is used for many things: to maintain building operations, to pour back out into the community, and so much more.
When I first started going to church, I was very wary about the aspect of tithing. I had preconceived notions, like “Churches don’t use our money wisely”, or “Churches do nothing but beg for our money”. My mind changed after awhile, when I really started to see where our money went and how it went to help people. Little did I know that soon after I started tithing, I would soon live through what was said in Malachi 3:10: “ 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.”
John and I got married in March 2011, and the week before Christmas he was laid off. He had been laid off a couple times before we got married, but it was much different now that we had a house and more responsibilities. He started receiving unemployment checks, and my massage business was still small, so I wasn’t making much income either. We had a small emergency fund built up, but we didn’t want to tap into that until it was absolutely necessary. Should we continue to tithe even though we didn’t have enough money? We were reminded of verses in Mark chapter 12, where Jesus and his disciples were watching people put in their offerings. The rich people were putting in tons of money, but a poor widow came in and dropped in her last two coins. Jesus turned to his disciples and told them, “This lady has given more than all the other rich people”. It doesn’t matter how much you give; what’s nothing to you could mean everything to someone else. What matters is HOW you give; with a cheerful heart and a belief that God will bless you for your faith. So with that in mind, we continued to tithe, even on John’s unemployment checks.
So why? Why should you continue to tithe, even in rough financial situations?
1. God calls us to tithe. I already mentioned this above, but it bears repeating. Everything belongs to God anyway, so it’s our duty to give just the 10% that He asks for.
2. God will not leave you. Like I said before, we didn’t want to tap into our emergency fund, so we did everything we could to just live on unemployment and my smaller checks. We did zero eating out and spent no money on things we didn’t have to. I ended up using my cash tips to buy groceries instead of using our debit card like we always did, and somehow we always had enough. There would be weeks where my schedule was suddenly slammed with appointments, or a couple generous clients would give a slightly bigger tip, so we’d always have food on the table.
3. God will bless you immeasurably. After 4 months of looking for a job, John went in for an interview for a baby product company, and on his way home from that interview got a call to offer him that job. It was a 3 month contract, starting April 2012, but each time his contract was up they renewed it. In January 2013, we found out we were expecting a baby, and in April 2013 he was offered a full-time position. Since then, we’ve been amazed at the number of blessings this job has provided us with. We received a free car seat/stroller combo, a high chair, a play yard, feeding supplies… it seemed like whatever we needed just magically fell in our laps. We were faithful in our giving, we prayed, we searched endlessly for jobs… and in the end we’ve received so much.
It’s funny how you can look back at parts of your life and see exactly where God had His hand on you during your tough situations. You may not see it at the time (We certainly didn’t), but all those little pieces come together to form the big picture, and then you know exactly why every situation happened the way it did. All I can say is stay strong and keep the faith. If you’re a believer and struggle with not being able to tithe because you don’t think you have enough money, take a leap of faith and try.
(Linked up on: Little Miss Celebration )