Is Tithing Necessary? (My Tithing Experience)
According to the dictionary a tithe is described as "one-tenth of income or produce formerly paid to the church."
Shortly after my husband, Dave, and I, were married we decided to tithe ten percent of our income to a church we currently belonged to.
We based our decision on Malachi 3:10-11 which reads, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the Lord of hosts."
Since we were both Christians and had recently joined a church, we felt that, by tithing, God would truly bless us financially as well as, in other aspects of our lives.
However, as time went on, Dave and I did not feel we were growing spiritually in our church. For example, the minister scolded the congregation if members were not participating in church duties such as working in the nursery, showing up for work parties or out distributing fliers advertising upcoming events.
We were also struggling financially, and the ten percent we were taking out of our incomes was putting us further and further behind in paying our bills.
One Sunday the minister loudly admonished the audience for poor attendance at a missionary dinner the night before.
After that my husband and I walked out, and we never returned. We agreed if we attended a church service to be blessed left feeling guilty and upset, it was not the place God intended us to be.
It was at that time we stopped tithing.
Things seemed to be going fairly well until Dave unexpectedly lost his job on his twentieth anniversary with the company who employed him. It took him six months to find another job with a starting salary way below what he was making. It took him another seven years to secure a decent paying job with good benefits. As a result, we lost thousands of dollars. However, God had a plan for our lives.
In May, 2007, I purchased a book containing a chapter about tithing. The author had filed for bankruptcy twice. He and his wife had lost their home and were living in an apartment that was so bad there were dead flies on the bathroom floor every morning when they got up. He began tithing, and slowly things started to change. Today he is a millionaire.
From this book I figured out why Dave and I had struggled so much when we were tithing years ago. He said that when you give ten percent, give it to where you are being blessed spiritually. It does not have to be a church. It can be an organization, or even an individual who is blessing you spiritually.
I realized God could not bless our tithe because we had been giving our ten percent to a church where we were not growing. We gave with reluctance and out of obligation.
After all these years God began, again, to place tithing on my heart. I told Dave I had made a decision to give ten percent of all income I received, including any unexpected money, such as a gift for my birthday. If I found a quarter on the sidewalk, ten percent would go to God.
Dave told me he had no problem with me doing that.
On May 26, 2007, I began to tithe.
Since I was not attending a church, I started mailing ten percent of any monies received to a Christian radio network that had been blessing me for years. This time I gave from my heart, instead of out of obligation. I made a commitment to God that, no matter what happened, I would put my finger on Malachi 3:10 and claim His promises.
Although God has never let us down, regardless of whether or not we have tithed, I believe I made the right decision. I've discovered tithing is not just about finances. It covers many things, such as safety and protection. A couple times, while driving, I came so close to being hit, I have no idea how the other vehicle missed me. Malachi 3:10-11 also promises God will rebuke the devourer, protect our homes, gardens, and our trees and vines will flourish with fruit. Not to mention our health. Every time before my husband and I go to the doctor, I ask God for a good report.,
I find unexpected bargains when I shop. I keep a daily gratitude column in my diary, and I log every blessing that comes our way to remind me of just how good God is.
Since that time my husband has escaped two layoffs, received several raises and one promotion. Every day I pray for Dave's job, health and safety.
Also, a close friend of the family passed away three days before Christmas in 2007 after a sudden acute illness, and she left me a small inheritance. This was a very unexpected great answer to prayer, as our den, living room and bedroom were in desperate need of repair. I immediately tithed this surprise gift, and I still had enough left over to redo all three rooms.
I am still tithing (it will be five years in May, 2012). I intend to continue doing this until my last day on earth. I have found tithing to be one of the most blessed positive decisions I have ever made. Why? Because God is always faithful to His word. He never breaks a promise.
Finally, I am not saying everyone, Christian or not, should tithe. However, I personally believe anything written in the Bible to be true.
This is my tithing experience. It is my sincere hope that anyone who reads my story will find it to be a source of encouragement on just how great God is.
Blessings always, Sincerely, Sparklea :)