I’ve been wanting to write about this for some time now, but didn’t really know what to say or when to say it.
As some or most or whoever reads these posts know, I am a Christian – unapologetically so. My faith governs how I think, what I do, how I treat people, etc. Something that is quite profound within the Christian faith is the concept of tithing or giving.
Now, when we first learn about tithing, we always hear, “Give God 10% of your resources.” While 10% may not seem like much, we tend to hold onto it like it’s the last bit of our resources we have left. Sheesh…
Tithing is something that has taken me about 31 years to grapple with. I was and kind of still am one of those people that struggle with the concept. I mean, why give God anything when he doesn’t actually need it?! I need it more than Him right?!
But I started to realize that it’s not about the act of giving, per say, but the spirit and heart behind the act. I’ve also learned that it’s not about actual money either. Some folks claim that they don’t have 2 pennies to rub together, let alone to give to God. However, tithing isn’t just tied to our finances – it encompasses so much more like our time and our gifts.
You may not have a disposable income, but I’m sure you have gifts that can help people in this world. Things that other folks don’t possess. When I’m in church, one of the leaders always has a shpeel about tithing and giving before the offering is taken up. Most of the time, I would sit there, just nodding my head along in agreement as if I was one of those people that understood what they meant. But, the whole time they’re talking, I’m thinking to myself, “I’m keeping my money and everything to myself…” Dang girl…
But once I got out of my head and out of my hardened heart, things started to open up. I started with the physical action of giving 10% (and not just 10%, but the first 10%). I realized that if I truly wanted to be elevated in my relationship with God, I needed to cleanse my heart and obey. I’m on this journey of self-discovery and knew that I needed to start purging the flesh. Here are some things that happened when I started tithing:
- I realized that when I concentrated on making tithing a regular thing, it was money not missed. Whatever I’d give twice a month was gone and I didn’t harp on missing it. I didn’t have that feeling of, “Crap, why did I give that much?! I shouldn’t have done that…shoot, I needed that money…” Instead, it became, “God, use this to build your kingdom, help the people of this community and be used as a tool for good.” Took a long time, but aye, I’m stubborn.
- Physical blessings started rolling in. Now…let’s stop here. I didn’t start this journey to be blessed. Yes, it’s nice to get things, be blessed with things and all that, but that isn’t why I started. I won’t mention all the things that happened, but one thing in particular I will mention. I remember one day, I gave my tithes and needed to do laundry. I followed through with my regular routine and when I entered the laundromat, I was approached by a woman. She and her church were paying for everyone’s laundry that day. I looked at her and smiled because 1) she reminded me sooooo much of my mom and 2) because I didn’t have to worry that day about shucking out money for laundry. After she paid for my washing, I went into the car and prayed, thanking God for this small, but significant blessing. I asked him to help me use the money I would have used to bless someone else and pay it forward.
- My prayer life has changed for the better. Prayer to me is the ultimate therapy session. You come to God as you are, completely broken, disheveled, whatever state you’re in at the time and he welcomes you with open arms, ready to listen. The things I ask for are more for the long-term than the “right now”. More items that cater to the betterment of me as a person than a shiny new car or more money.
So tithing…it’s changed my life actually. Never understood what it was all about until now. Anytime I give money or my time or whatever, I try to step outside of myself. I realize that what’s happening is not so that I can receive something, but more for the expansion of God’s kingdom and taking care of the people of this world.
I could go on and on, but this post is already long-winded lol. Thanks for stickin’ with me ❤