Give and it shall be given unto you; we have all heard that spoken in church before. People give, quote a confession and then expectantly wait on God to show up.
My husband and I have always been givers. I grew up in church and learned the principles of giving. So naturally out of habit, you could say we always gave our 10% to God.
As a result, we felt no guilt about doing whatever we wanted to do with our money, because we gave God His and now the rest is ours!
Don’t get me wrong, I have a financial background, and we applied other principles to the way we handled our money. We tithed; paid our taxes, put money aside for retirement, college funds and emergency funds. We did all of that! It’s easy to trust God for finances when you have money coming in.
Well when the real estate market crashed, so did our entire financial world. We had enough money on hand to keep ourselves a float for about a year. Then, we got down to the wire. We had ZERO, and it was hard to trust God for our finances.
Our Tithing Story
I remember getting in the mail one day our contribution statement from our church. We had given over $32,000 for the year. That seemed impressive, but we didn’t have $32,000 in our bank account. Yes, we were floating over a year, and that was a blessing, but we were struggling for several years even while we were tithing.
I couldn’t understand why this giving and receiving thing wasn’t working for us. Seemingly we applied all the “natural” ways the world defines as financials principles. In my former career of banking I read many financial books: The Millionaire Next Store, Rich Dad Poor Dad, 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, and The Courage to Be Rich. You name it, I read it.
One day, I was really frustrated and kept asking God: “Why?” I applied all the principles I knew. Then one day, at church I was in the bookstore, and noticed a book titled: Becoming A Millionaire God’s Way.
At first I thought not another financial book; I have already heard it all. But I felt led to purchase the book, and began reading it right away. I must say it was by far, the best financial book I ever read.
I literally threw away every other financial book I had because in my heart, I really believed this one book combined both financial principles I knew in the natural, but also combined spiritual principles that I was lacking.
You see, I had more faith in my knowledge of what I knew in the financial world, than I did in kingdom finances. No wonder things weren’t working for us.
The biggest lesson we learned in this book was that tithing alone doesn’t work. We’re going to have to do more than just bring your tithe to church and quote a confession.
Tithing According To The Bible
I know there are debates about whether or not one is obligated to tithe under the New Testament. So we won’t get into to that. My only encouragement would be for you to seek the scriptures and allow God to show you His Word and follow His leading.
Let me explain for a moment the principles of God regarding our giving and receiving. There are two principles required of us when we tithe: investment and giving.
Investment is referred to as sowing and reaping. Giving is referred to as planting a harvest.
Now this can be difficult to do when we can’t even give God what belongs to Him. Part of the problem is that as a church (meaning the entire body of Christ) we have done a poor job of teaching the financial principles beyond just tithing, resulting in an unbalanced approach to giving.
What’s mostly taught from the pulpit is that God wants you to give to His church. But, we don’t take the initiative to communicate how God wants you to sow and reap by investing and giving to plant a harvest on your investment.
I’m not trying to discredit any pastors, I’m just trying to explain that, as a “church” we have to do a better job explaining God’s financial principles, so that as a church body we can ALL be financially stable.
Malachi 3:10-11 (AMPC) says…”Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts.”
We were under the impression like many, that our tithe was enough for provision and blessing. However, tithing is like salvation: fire insurance. Salvation will keep us from hell, but salvation alone won’t allow us to live a life full of God’s promises, unless we learn who we are in Christ and develop our faith.
Well tithing alone, will protect what you have. Tithing protects your stuff (your job, house, etc.) and rebukes the devour for your sake. But to receive over and above, you will have to give over and above.
2 Corinthians 9 tells us that God provides seed to the sower and bread for eating. That means He provides our daily bread or we can say our daily bills and seed to sow. Which means, God is going to provide so we can sow or invest. However, we would have to first prove ourselves to be a sower.
In the Old Testament, people would bring their offerings, heave offerings, burnt offerings, and freewill offerings to the altar, then go plant their crops. They would wait for a harvest to come, only to go back to the altar to bring more offerings.
Well, this is where it gets tricky for us. Churches will encourage you to give an offering, give to a building fund, and give to other needs in the church. Some may outright call out a figure for you to give. And if you’re feeling emotional in service, you may even go for that.
Nevertheless, let’s say the church asked for a special offering of a $1,000, and you give that $1,000 and don’t invest something else in the natural ground for God to bless. Your blessing on that $1,000 will be zero. $1,000 times Zero is still Zero!
You have to invest something in the natural for God to multiply.
Yes, there are times of supernatural provision. However, too many of us give our tithe, pay our bills and spend all our money (our seed) and expect God to show up.
You see, when you give (planting a harvest) God places a blessing on that seed. But, you will have to go plant something in the natural ground to reap a harvest. If you feel led to give to your church no problem, now go plant in an investment (a natural seed) and watch God multiply your investments.
Effective Participants In The Kingdom
You may be sitting here reading this thinking: I can’t tithe, give, invest, and pay my bills. And we would say to you; this is where we as believers need to learn biblical financial principles.
We cannot be an effective participant in the Kingdom if we eat all our seeds. Too many of us get our paycheck, pay our taxes, (only because it comes out of our check. Let’s face it, if it didn’t come out automatically, you probably wouldn’t pay them either.) give our tithes (some of us), and pay our bills, buy clothes, go to dinner and have nothing left; waiting for the next paycheck only to do it all over again. Then we wonder why God hasn’t shown up and blessed us!
No wonder we always had just enough with nothing left over, because that is all we were giving God; just enough – our 10% and spending everything else!
Therefore, we decided to put this principle to the test.
When we first read about this, we decided in addition to our tithing we were going to give and put some money aside in our savings account. Remember, we read this book at the time when we had lost everything and no longer had any money coming in.
So for instance, we would get a check for $500, we tithed $50, gave a $5 offering, put $10 in our savings account, and then paid our bills out of what was left. Although this didn’t seem like a lot, we were consistent in doing this with any amount that came into our hands.
Before we knew it, we had about $250 in our savings account and desperately needed a new office desk. Well the week we decided to purchase the desk we got a phone call from a friend whose husband no longer needed a desk that was brand new, and asked if we wanted it.
That was God blessing our investment. The $250 we saved for the desk essentially became $500. We received a brand-new desk without having to pay and the $250 remained in our savings account.
In The End
It wasn’t until we read and understood this principle from this book, Becoming a Millionaire God’s Way: Getting Money to You, Not from You where we began to see true changes in our finances.
Although we were faithful tithers, we really didn’t understand or apply the principles of giving and receiving. Since doing so, we became bigger givers than we were then, and God had definitely multiplied our investments.
We live on less money now, but we’re able to tithe, give, invest, pay our bills and see God’s blessings!
That fresh revelation not only changed our personal way of dealing with Kingdom Finances; it changed the way we teach kingdom financial principles to others.
Recently, we read Simply Money, Rich Life that delivers another balanced perspective. Finding peace in process of building wealth and enjoying life right where you are. Instead of feeling like you have to have all your finances in order to enjoy life.
We love this perspective because it not only teaches contentment, but learning to be a good steward and enjoying the life God wants you to have now.
If you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, paying your tithe and not seeing any blessings, we would encourage you to read either of those financial books along with your Bible and learn how to become an effective participant in the body of Christ and for your family.