There was this conversation I had with my fiancee wherein we were talking about knowing how much we should give. Sure, tithing is giving a tenth of your income to God but what about offerings? What about giving to missionaries? To a noble cause? Here’s how we concluded to give to others.
Giving til it Hurts
If you don’t need it, it doesn’t cost you anything to give it. If it’s extra, it’s something you’re not set on keeping. Giving til it hurts is giving something that costs you. It’s giving away something you want. Something that still means something to you.
Often when we give, we give when it’s comfortable. When we have a little extra. A buffer, if you would.
It’s not hard to tithe when you’ve got more than what you need. But what if giving means that you’d have to give up one good meal a day?
“No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.“ – 2 Samuel 24:24
If you’re not giving til it hurts, you’re not giving enough.
The Poor Widow’s Offering
We all know that story from the Bible where there was this poor widow who had a few copper coins. Perhaps in these days it’s equivalent to a few centavos. Nothing big. But it’s all she had to live on. Without those few copper coins she had left, she’ll face the coming weeks in hunger.
She could probably imagine herself famished in a few days. All her logic and emotions were probably telling her that it was unwise for her to give her few copper coins away.
She probably saw the more fortunate people on the other aisle giving a few silver and gold coins here and there. She could’ve thought to herself that her copper coins wouldn’t make a dent of a difference.
But she gave it anyway.
Jesus saw it.
“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” – Mark 12:41-44
That is a picture of total life surrender. Giving all you have to live on in faith that God will see it – and bless you for it. Chances are, that widow never went hungry again. God has His ways of blessing you when you give – especially when you give back to Him.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “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
This is an amazing verse simply because God challenges His people to test Him. It is a challenge that was made during those days but it still applies even today. I’ve given back to God really just because He has blessed me immensely. I am content and grateful with what God has blessed me with in my life and because of this, I just really want to give back to Him.
God doesn’t need my tithes and offerings but He appreciates my intention and my gratitude.
I Started Tithing
When I was 13 years old. I went to VCF’s youth service and they encouraged us to tithe even with our allowance. Looking back, it was that foundational mindset that made it a discipline for me to tithe on a monthly basis even if my allowance then was a measly amount. My allowance is 200php a day – which makes for 4,000php a month. I’d give 400php to the church whenever it was time for me to give.
Today, I’m earning more than just 4,000php a month – but it has become a habit for me to give to God. I used to go hungry when I was in the latter years of my college life – going on crackers for lunch and dinner. Still, I would give – at least 10% of my monthly income.
I’ve never known hunger since then. God has blessed me immensely.
Today, I’m running an awesome business. I’m blessed with a great team of 16 people. I’ve got my own fully-paid, 2nd hand Mazda 3 in really good condition. Most of all, I’m blessed with a soon-coming wedding that I’m very much looking forward to.
I’ve never imagined being blessed with my own car at 25 years of age. I’ve never imagined being blessed with 16 people. I’ve never imagined all these things – and yet, God, in His great grace, gave it.
I’m not saying that all of these happened because of giving back to God. These things happened with hard work, patience, skill, guts – and everything in between. But without giving back to the Lord, I sincerely believe there wouldn’t have been any ‘impossible’ clients just suddenly popping up on our financial crunch time. SEO Hacker would’ve been dead in the water by now.
I can say, it was all pure luck or it was all God’s intervention. Since I don’t believe in luck, I’m banking on the latter.
Tithing is a financial act of faith in God’s Character and role as your ultimate provider. The best thing about it is, God is an awesome rewarder!
Test it out!