Mark Batterson preached at his church this weekend on tithing. Here is what His blog said yesterday:
Continued our Ritual series this weekend. Talked about a 4000 year-old ritual called tithing that traces all the way back to Abraham. Honestly, I used to hate talking about money. Thought people would think it was a money grab so I was almost defensive about it. But the longer I tithe the more I love talking about it.
We need a paradigm shift. So many people perceive the tithe as an obligation. It’s an opportunity! Yes, Malachi 3 says you are “under a curse” if you are not giving a tenth. But what a promise! God wants to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on you that you cannot contain.
Here are a few principles I shared this weekend:
1) God can do more with 90% than I can do with 100%
2) U cannot out give God
3) 2 be blessed beyond your ability u need to give beyond your ability
4) When u start tithing, your financial problems become God’s problem
5) The tithe keeps money from becoming your master
6) Tithing positions u 4 blessing
7) Tithing = Trusting
In my personal experience, tithing makes finances fun. It infuses me with economic optimism because I’m walking in obedience. I live in holy anticipation to see the way God is going to provide!
All of this is second nature to me. Mark and I have given 10% of every paycheck, birthday gift, honorarium, or blessing we’ve ever received in 12 years of marriage. Tithing is just easy these days, even in the midst of being really tight in the last couple of years.
That being said, recently God pushed me in the area of giving. Giving is any money above the 10%. During the winter I work a couple of nights a week at a homeless shelter. It gives our tight pocketbook a little extra breathing room, which is a welcome change. That change didn’t last long. During some of my prayer time I felt God tell me to give a certain amount more in the offering every week. I literally said outloud, “You’re kidding me.” Here is the litany of excuses that went through my brain:
What about the family vacation I want to take?
Wouldn’t it be more responsible to save that money, just in case?
I give plenty of my time to the church for free, doesn’t that count?
The economy is really rough right now, God. Ten percent is fine, isn’t it?
We get paid marginally, God! Can’t you ask someone who is a little more blessed than me?
And then I was reminded that I can’t outgive God. My worries are just flesh, because I BELIEVE the Bible. And therefore, for the last two weeks, I have written the check knowing that God will take care of me and my family. I look forward with great anticipation to what God will do in our lives and in the lives of others. The new bumper sticker on my life is this, “I can’t outgive God, but I’m sure going to try.”
So, my challenge to you is this…just pray about what God would have you give and then do it. No worries!