Forbes may seem an unlikely place for an article about tithing. But there it was. Under the headline, “Irrational Act,” was an article about a man who earned a high income but could never save any of it. Raised in a strict church that demanded payment of the tithe just as the IRS demands payment of our taxes, not surprisingly, he drifted away from church.
Years later, he found himself in church once more. There he heard another message about tithing. But this time it wasn’t a finger-wagging lecture; it was a simple, compelling promise: give 10 percent and you will be free from financial worry.
That day he and his wife decided to take the minister up on his challenge. “Almost immediately, a mysterious transformation took place.” Besides giving away 10 percent of their income, the couple found they were able to start saving money as well.
They discovered firsthand why generosity actually makes sense.
The Bible says we were made in God’s image. Since God is infinitely generous, that means generosity is woven into the fabric of our spiritual DNA.
It’s no wonder that secular researchers have found generous people to be happier than those who are not generous.
The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). I remember a time when my wife wanted to support a friend doing missionary work in a country I wasn’t sure I could find it on a map.
After we started sending some money there, I noticed every time the country was in the news. And I took a lot of interest in each letter her friend wrote about her work. My heart went there because some of our money was going there.
Giving regularly to support God’s work in the world keeps our hearts focused on God.
I am very confident that giving in order to get something back is an affront to God. Biblical generosity is motivated by gratitude, not greed.
Still, many passages of Scripture clearly state that blessings flow from generosity that’s fueled by a grateful heart. It’s how things work in God’s economy.
Going, giving, doing, saying… all of that can add up to a way of being. Or it can feel like our relationship with God is dependent on being good at those things. But 1John 5:11-13 tells another story.
Does God really speak to us today in an intelligible voice? During my first ten days after moving to college, my roommate and I conceived a brilliant plan that involved us getting drunk every night. On the tenth night of this escapade, I went up to my room and sat on my bed.
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