Have you yet learned the joy and obedience of tithing? In case you don’t know, tithing is giving one tenth of your income to God. You may not think it sounds like such a joy but then a wonderful story comes along to show how God smiles on our giving in obedience to his Word.
A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine whom I will call Gisele called to tell me what had happened to her earlier that morning at church. Gisele is in a very precarious financial situation right now and it has been this way for over four years. Yes, she makes it every month but just barely. Regardless of how small her income is, however, she always gives God the first tenth of it. She learned this principle as a child but lately it has been a real test of faith.
On this Sunday morning she was one hour late to church because of having to take back roads she didn’t know well. Previously she had always taken the turnpike to church but the toll had just gone up and she literally did not have the fifty cents to pay it. When she finally made it to the church parking lot she just sat there awhile. She hated to go in that late. Well, she finally thought, I’ll just go in and give my tithe. This was a toughie because she had little food in her house and was $20 short on her rent which was due the next day.
She went in and found the guy who counts the offering and gave her tithe and then asked him for better directions to get back home. She was explaining she was short for the toll when the Pastor’s wife, who knows her well, overheard. She walked up and said, “Oh, Gisele, just take the turnpike!” and handed her a twenty dollar bill. As Gisele was saying how much this meant to her the woman said; “You know what – God has really blessed me – here, take this too” and handed her an additional hundred dollars.
Gisele could now take the turnpike home, buy some food and pay her rent. Her tithe had only been $32 so God had quadrupled his return to her at a very opportune time. She felt reenergized and encouraged by the Lord’s loving-kindness.
Begin your own walk of faith and obedience. If you have never tithed before, think of it this way: God owns it all anyway and you get to keep 90%. That’s a pretty good deal. In the end you will find that you cannot out-give God.