Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Not About The Money

Michael Kelley:
...let’s just say that you are a Christian who customarily gives to your church the first 10 percent of your paycheck. But then the economy goes south, or you acquire some unexpected medical bills. Or maybe you just take a hard look at the checkbook and realize how much more you could have socked away if you didn’t give that full 10 percent. So you are tempted to cut back. You justify it by saying that it’s not that you won’t ever tithe again— you’re just taking a few months off to get your feet under you. And isn’t it sort of legalistic to have to write this check every month anyway? And doesn’t God care about taking care of our families? That money could certainly be used to help them. Those are some of the things I have told myself, at least. 
But all those excuses focus on a side issue. Tithing isn’t really about the money. Just like most things in the Christian life, tithing has little to do with the actual, physical act and much more to do with the spiritual significance behind that act. Tithing has very little to do with money, and very much to do with faith. When we make the conscious choice to regularly and sacrificially give, we show that we aren’t just giving lip service to God’s power to provide and His goodness in doing so. Our faith is measured by our actions. 
I believe that to continue to tithe—to be generous and giving even when you feel like you can’t afford it—is an act of faith. It is a statement by action that I believe God can be trusted. He told me to do this, and so I will do it because I believe He is wise and loving in what He commands. 
I will tithe also because I believe in God’s power to provide. There’s a lot that I could do with that money; and sometimes I feel like giving it away puts me in a position of need. That’s not a position I’m comfortable with, but that is a position where I must receive from God. Not a bad place to be. 
And I will tithe because I believe that God Himself is better than any of the stuff I could get with that money. It’s an act of faith to choose God over comfort because, well, He’s invisible. So I give away the money that could be used to make me more comfortable because I believe that God is better than any of those things. 
We give because we trust. When we don’t give, it’s because we don’t trust. Our wallets reveal, much more clearly than our words, the depth of our faith. Our faith is shown clearly in our common, ordinary expenditures…
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