Tithing in a Bear Market
With the troubles in the stock market, looming recession, and inflation, you may be getting fearful of having enough to pay the mortgage, paying the electric bill, or simple buying groceries. With all our worldly financial stress, it may get easy to skip a tithe here or there. God won’t mind….right? He understands….right? But is it really that simple? You may even be wondering what tithing is all about. Where did it come from? Why is it important? What does it mean to my relationship with God? I know for many of you this is a tough subject. Hopefully, I can shed some light for you on the spiritual gift known to us as tithing.
Where did it come from? Tithing dates back to the time of Abraham. “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram […]. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14:18-20 NIV) God delivered Abraham’s enemies to him and Abraham gave gratefully to the Lord. Tithing is a covenant first shared between Abraham and God. It is spiritual law given by God to humankind to assist people in finding abundance, fulfillment, and gratitude in their everyday lives. The law of tithing is to give 10 percent of one’s increase back to God. Notice I said “back to God.” It is so easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking we create our success or wealth. We are in control. The truth is God is in control and the owner of all things. By tithing we are fulfilling a covenant with God first set forth by Abraham. God, of course, is always fulfilling his part, so the question is, are we fulfilling ours?
Why is it important? Tithing is part of our central relationship with Christ. Without it, we our not striving for that perfect relationship we are all looking for. Tithing is worship. Tithing is recognition and worship of the One who created and actually owns all. Worshiping God in a prescribed manner has existed since the Garden of Eden. Cain and Abel knew the correct way to worship God, but one of them chose not to worship that way. Worship cost them something then, as true worship always does. If we do not worship God with our money, we do not really worship God. Job, Abraham and his descendants, and others living before the giving of the Law, knew that worshiping God involved sacrificing of their substance. This is why tithing now is so important. Tithing is a sacrifice of praise and worship. What better sacrifice than continuing to tithe when things get tough financially? Remember, it is Satan who is putting the fear in your heart, Satan encouraging you not to tithe. You must trust in the Lord and tithe joyfully.
Which brings me to my last point, “joyful giving”. This is the most important factor when it comes to the fulfillment of our relationship and covenant with God. We must give joyfully out of love not out of obligation. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse […]. 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 room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10 NIV). It has always been God’s purpose to bless us abundantly but it is important to be a joyful giver in order to receive the abundance however it may come.
In closing, remember while there may be uncertainty in our current financial market, our Lord is a warrior and is mighty in battle! He will deliver those who keep His covenants. Stay strong and put a smile on your face the next time you write that check.