For the past several Wednesdays, we’ve been walking through a series I preached in February called “Going Green.” All about the wonderfully awkward topic of money, it’s a subject that American Christians have a tough time getting right. We know we need to give more of God’s money to the church and Kingdom purposes, but for some reason, it’s tough for us.
Now, I’d love to be able to say that giving money to the church has always been easy for me, but it honestly hasn’t. My struggles started right at the beginning. Growing up middle class, I knew the value of a hard earned dollar. When I started my first part-time job in high school, I knew what the Bible said I should do: tithe. For some reason it was a lot easier to throw a Washington in the plate when my dad had slipped it to me a few moments before. It wasn’t my money. Easy come, easy go.
But when I worked for it, that money was now “mine,” and I didn’t want to let go of it so easily. So, I talked myself out of it. I figured that I wasn’t really making enough to really contribute anything of value to the church. I mean, if my tithe was $8, what was that going to really help? So, I decided that I’d begin to tithe once I made more money and could give something substantial. That would surely be easier, wouldn’t it?
Wrong. For some reason, tithing actually became harder once I started adding zeros to the back of my check. Yet I knew I needed to tithe. So, I changed my approach. I figured I’d spend my hard earned money on number one (me), and give God everything that was left over at the end of the month. Wouldn’t you know it? I always ran out of money before I ran out of month.
Do you want to know how I finally broke through and began to tithe faithfully? It’s real simple. I just started tithing. I just quit using excuses and started to give to God what I knew I needed to give. And God’s been faithful. I’ve never missed any of the money that I’ve given to the church (it’s all God’s anyways). One of the things that has helped keep me honest in this area has been online giving. My church allows online giving, so I set up a recurring debit to be taken out twice a month, immediately after my check gets deposited. That way I know the first withdrawal that happens goes to the church.
What excuse do you need to give up to begin to give back to God faithfully?