Isn’t it amazing how when you truly let go and let God, He shows you His sovereignty in an incredible way?
Ever since we got married, Grayson and I have really struggled with tithing. As Christians, we believe that we should tithe at least 10% of our income (before taxes), but as each month passed, it seemed to constantly get pushed to the back of our minds or the bottom of our priority list. Either we didn’t think we could “afford” it that month, or we simply didn’t think about it doing it at all, or we found other things to give to and justified in our minds that it “made up” for our negligence.
Over the course of the year, we fully sponsored a child to go to summer camp with our church, we gave abundantly to mission lunches and to our friends that went on mission trips, and we gave to several families in secret when we became aware of a need they were facing. However, as wonderful as all these things are, they should have never taken the place of our tithe. Our church is at such a pivotal place right now of growth and expansion, and we should be giving consistently with happy hearts to further that new growth that Jesus has set into motion.
The truth is that when you first get married, figuring out your finances is hard. Sharing a bank account, learning to budget together, and trying to save takes a lot of work. We are still learning every day and are constantly seeking wisdom and Godly advice from people who have been where we are before.
Although we don’t really make “new year’s resolutions,” one thing that Grayson and I have been praying about is our desire to tithe and decided that this past Sunday, the first Sunday in 2016, we would begin to tithe consistently. This was a real leap of faith for us, especially right after the expenses that come with Christmas. We dropped our money in the plate and knew without a shadow of a doubt that even if it made our bank account tighter, we did the right thing. Jesus always gives you a peace that passes all understanding when you’re in His will.
That’s not where this story ends, though. Even if it was, it would be a story of Jesus’ faithfulness, because He had been working on our hearts for months for us to get to the place where we trusted that we could tithe. But, what makes this story even sweeter is the way that we saw Jesus provide above and beyond what we gave the very next day. On Monday morning, Grayson went back to school and was given money unexpectedly. Then, I went to work and someone paid me back for something that I had totally forgotten about them owing me. These two unexpected things equaled exactly one dollar more than the tithe we had given the day before. Jesus is so good. Then, later that evening, Grayson was given the opportunity to tutor for some very dear friends of ours (and they even fed him dinner), which meant that within one day, Jesus had more than doubled back to us what we had given. Another funny thing about this is that the family who asked him to tutor had no idea about the hand they were having in Jesus teaching us this sweet lesson of His faithfulness.
There are no words.
His provision and faithfulness is sweeter than any gift I could ever explain. It makes me so ashamed of not following Him in obedience sooner, so frustrated at my lack of faith for ever thinking that He wouldn’t make a way and provide for us if we just did the right thing. So far, we’re only six days into 2016 and Jesus has already taught me so much.
I challenge you today, friends, to follow Jesus in obedience. It may not be tithing that you struggle with, like we did, but if there’s any area of your life that you’re withholding from Him with white-knuckled control, learn to let it go. Trust Him. Let go and let God show you that He loves you and wants to give you abundant life. He is the giver of all good things. He is sovereign. By being obedient to Him, you give Him an opportunity to show you His love and mercy and grace in a way you may have never experienced before.
If you’re interested in reading more about tithing, Scripture talks about it here:
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
2 Chronicles 31:5