It’s Not Your Money, Is It?

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Written by Stacy Myers, Contributing Writer

A while back, there was this strangely annoying commercial on television for JG Wentworth. It’s a bunch of adults yelling out their windows about THEIR money. While the normal person would just find this commercial extremely dumb, I found it very bothersome.

When I heard my pastor mention the commercial in one of his sermons about stewardship and giving, I really started thinking. The sad thing is this MY MONEY mindset is very prevalent today. Most of us consider the money we have to be “ours.” We do what we want with it – we worry over it – we hoard it – we don’t even begin to pray about it.

“It’s MY MONEY and I need it NOW” reminds me of something my 3 year old would say. And who cannot watch that commercial and see just exactly how silly those adults look. “Mommy! It’s MY TOY and I WANT IT NOW!” But, she’s three years old – she’s supposed to act that way. We’re grown people – we should know better.

Here’s the truth. “Our” money is not ours. The Word of God clearly states this fact:

For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” -1 Corinthians 10:26

The money we have in our possession is not ours. It has been given to us on loan from the Lord, and He expects us to take care of it.

If you had $50 in your pocket that was yours and $50 in your other pocket that you were holding for a good friend, which one would you take care of with a fervor? Likely the money from your friend. You’re holding it for them – watching over it…keeping it safe.

It’s the same with the money that the Lord has given to us – we’re to take care of it. Guard it. Watch over it and make sure we don’t squander it. Knowing the money we have is God’s should cause us to better behave with that money – after all, He is watching.

The way we act with our money totally changes when we constantly think about how God is watching our behavior. He’s given us something very precious – He’s trusting us with HIS money…what are you going to do with it?

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Image by Ryk Neethling

So, knowing our money is not “ours,” what DOES the Word say about how God wants us to handle his money? Let’s find out.

1. He wants us to give.

My, oh my – how hard we hold on to our money. We find it hard to put anything into the offering plate. We find reasons not to give to those in need. In truth, we should be giving our tithes and offerings to the church so they can help those in need. I desire to have the same attitude as my daughter, who when she saw the usher coming down the aisle, started yelling, “Mommy! Hurry! Hurry! Here he comes! Get your money out! Hurry!”

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 

*Let me also interject and say that all giving is not money based. Hospitality to others can cost very little and have great rewards.*

 2. He wants us to live free from the bondage of debt.

The Word has so much to say about debt, and yet most of us never take the chance to really study it.  God wishes us to be in “slavery” to him, but we cannot do so if we’re enslaved in debt. Jesus is very clear – we cannot serve two masters. I’m not sure about you, but I’d much rather be a slave of Christ than a slave of Bank of America.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7.

3. He wants us to put it to good use.  

In the parable of the talents we see that the servants who put their money to good use were rewarded – and the servant who hid his money even had his little bit taken away. God doesn’t want us to have his money and bury it in the back yard in a mayonnaise jar.  The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for her wise use of money in purchasing a field and planting a vineyard out of her earnings. Be wise with the money entrusted you to you – read – learn…be smart. And most of all, use it to take care of your family – that’s truly putting your money to good use.

“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 1:5-8

4. He wants us to tithe.

Ouch. This is a big one…one that most people don’t want to hear about. MOST Christians just assume that tithing went out with the Old Testament. I disagree.  I have found from years of listening to people give reasons for not tithing that it is really a heart issue – can we let go of that 10% and give it back to God? Or not? As for me and my family, we don’t want to miss out on that blessing! :-)

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:6-11

5. He wants us to save – not hoard.  

Does the Bible talk about saving? You betcha. But, there is a difference between saving and hoarding. Saving is being smart and preparing for a rainy day. Hoarding is keeping your money – not using it to take care of yourself, your family, or your church.

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22

What do you do to change the “my money” mindset?

Top Image by missD90

About Stacy Myers

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Annie (3) and Andy (newborn). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her daily antics.

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Comments

  1. Hi, just wondering if anyone has any advice on what to do if you and your husband are not on the same page in regards to giving? The Lord has really been working in my heart about giving and I would love to be able to give so much more than we do, but my husband is not very keen. He is very focussed on paying off the mortgage (which is not a bad thing), but he seems to struggle to be a generous giver. We do give money regularly (not quite 10% though), but I know we could give more if we tried. I have a small part-time job which I have been giving away all the income from, but this is not a consistant income. Please dont think that I am being legalistic about this and feeling like I have to give more. I really want to give more, as the Lord has been working on my heart. I suppose all I can do is pray right? I have noticed God blessing us as I give more generously but I dont think my husband sees things as blessings quite as I do.

  2. Stacy,

    what is the proper way to tithe. Is it based on our net or our gross. I do want to give, and I know that faith and fear can not exist in the same place. But how do you get over that when you have been without and now, my husband and I, and our children are only on my income of $35,000/yr since he has lost his job. I’ve been praying but that fear of having absolutely nothing is just so real to me…

    • Angel, there is never a specific number given other than “the first fruits of your labor.” For some, that means that they tithe before they do anything else with that paycheck. For others, that means that they tithe before taxes. It’s just what you decide along with your husband – you have to follow your heart’s leading. :-) Please realize it’s nothing to worry over – one or the other…it’s just about your heart being in the right place.

      That being said, God is very clear about taking care of his sheep. If you do decide to tithe, you don’t need to worry about the money being there – otherwise, He would not have said:
      “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:6-11

      You know, you could just “try” tithing to see what you think for one month. I think you’d find that if you tithe and budget your money that God will provide all that you need. :-) If you hate tithing, you can always quit. Ha!

      I encourage you and your husband to pray about it and see where the Lord leads. And please let me know if my husband or I can encourage you in any way. We’d be very happy to help.

  3. I just have to leave a comment! This topic is very near & dear to my heart. We laid out of church for the first several years of our marriage but as soon as we got back in we started tithing. Off the net (because I believe it should be of your first fruits). And did so happily (bc God loves a cheerful giver). Even when times were tough we tithed. We have also been generous with our possessions-almost everything we own was gifted to us so why should we sell it when we are ready to get rid of it? We just donate to local shelters. Time and time again God has poured out His blessings on our family. I could literally write a book. I will try to give the short version. We have never wanted for anything-name brand clothes in excellent condition appear bc a family thought of us, a family at our church has ‘adopted’ my girls and buys them all (4) a new outfit about once a month, when we needed a washer/dryer a friend just happened to have an extra set-only 3 months old-super capacity (I hadn’t even prayed about it-just a thought I had), rebate checks have shown up in our mailbox right when we needed them, a bonus at my hubby’s work when we thought there would be no Christmas, farm eggs given to us by friends, etc etc etc. I could go on and on. But those are small compared to this-my daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor 3 yrs ago. She is doing really well today (although she still has a large amount of tumor). Through generous donations-all medical bills have been paid. While we were in the hospital my hubby gave some money to another family in worse situation than us. It was an odd amount-something like $532-what he had in his pocket when we were discharged. It wasn’t our money. It was donated and I kinda got upset-what if those that donated that didn’t want us to give that money away. Anyway, when we got home my sister handed us an envelope with that exact same amount. Her church had taken up an offering. I guess God really did want us to give that family some money. We went to church and tithed (my hubby was still receiving a regular paycheck). Right after we dropped the money in the offering plate a gentleman behind us tapped my hubby on the shoulder and said ‘I feel led to give this to you’. It was the exact same amount that we had just tithed. I honestly feel like we can’t afford not to tithe. He is faithful to provide for His children. I feel like He has rained blessings on us, but I will always be convinced its because we are faithful to give back to Him. Sorry to write a book but I really could write even more. Thanks for this article. Very well done!

  4. So good! My husband has just challenged our family in our use of the word “mine”.

    “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” -1 Corinthians 10:26

    Our family is making an effort to teach our children (and ourselves) not to refer to ANYthing as “mine”, but to realize that it is God’s (i.e. “the computer that Mommy uses” not “Mommy’s computer”). It comes down to the fact that none of the stuff is ours, but the Lord’s! It has been a great challenge, because I never thought about how often we refer to “our” stuff (even “our kids” vs. “the children God has blessed us with!”)

  5. I’d like to point out that the concept of tithing (at least to my knowledge; feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) is not mentioned in the New Testament. Instead, it talks about sacrificial giving. In Acts, people never went without because people were selling everything they had and giving to those as they had need. So, I believe that God technically asks more of us than 10%. Having said that, I want to say that I also believe that it’s more than giving money. We can also give of our time and talents.

    • You’re absolutely right – we should all be giving above the 10%. For most people it’s a great starting point for giving – and then we get to add in our time and talents which are of great worth for the Kingdom of God. :-)

      I thought the same as you for a long time….that tithe wasn’t in the New Testament. But after a lot of research I found that it is in there, mentioned by Jesus himself. I talked about it in my tithe post linked above (http://www.stacymakescents.com/tithe).
      “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” Matthew 23:23.
      So, Jesus tells us to practice justice, mercy, and faithfulness…..but not to neglect the tithe as well. :-)

  6. Debra Schramm says:

    Thanks so much for your obedience to speak out and help others with finances according to God’s Word. His Word is the only truth in this world. When you talk about someone’s money or disciplining children people wear their feelings on their sleeves and get easily offended. Bottom line – God’s Word is the instruction manual! Thanks again!

  7. Excellent post! I agree wholeheartedly.

    Prior to marriage my husband and I both tithed, so coming together and tithing together was natural and I absolutely believe God has blessed us through that. We married young. I was in university and working part time, and my husband was making just $12/hr. We were both debt free and made it a commitment to remain that way (with the exception of a mortgage – housing is extremely expensive here, but were committed to paying it off ASAP). Long story short, at age 28 (and 4 children) we made our final mortgage payment and owned our home outright! Truly debt free! Praise the Lord!

    Since then we have been blessed to purchase a large acreage at an amazing price. We do currently have a mortgage, but again are aiming to pay it off quickly. And because we owned our home, we were able to keep it and currently reap the benefits of having a rental income.

    All this was through God’s overwhelming blessing. It certainly doesn’t make much sense by this worlds standards and we are by no means rich; BUT we are abundantly blessed!

  8. I’m actually going to defend the commercial. (First, I do agree with all your points about wise use of your financial blessings). The commercial is targeted to folks who have won a financial settlement of some kind, most likely by a lawsuit, and who aren’t getting their payments from the person who owes them money. The company will buy your settlment and give you your cash in one lump.

    Although annoying, the commercial makes good arguement. People sue for child support, because they were injured and have medical bills, becuse they were defrauded & now their credit is ruined, or becuase another person dishonored an agreement, or for being unjustly fired from a job. In other words – they’ve been victimized in some way and have probably become “slaves” to medical bills, foreclosure, or debt as a result.

    If they are unable to collect their settlement, they have no money to use for the purposes God intended, and will remain slaves to their debt. The commercial is annoying, but I’d be mad to that I’m not getting money owed to me, too!! The people in the commercial aren’t being greedy. They are just finding it hard to use their financial blessings the way God intends – if people who owe them money aren’t paying timely.

    • I just find the commercial really annoying. :-) I liked the analogy that my pastor used, and so I went with it.
      You make a very good point – however, it’s likely that the company buying the settlement gives you much less than you’ve really won. So, it would only be a good idea to use something like that if you REALLY REALLY needed the money and could no longer wait for the settlement to come in.
      Thanks for the great comment, Jill! :)

    • I stumbled aorcss this discussion today as I was looking for something else on the Internet. Thanks for providing this forum. You made me think. That is always a good thing. Devyn, I think you are correct that most church leaders would interpret increase (sometimes we use the word interest ) as income . What if, instead of interpreting increase , we simply took it at face value? In other words, pay 10% of the increase in your net worth over the year.Back in the old tithing-in-kind days, members would pay tithing on the increase in their flocks or herds. It was easy. If there was no increase, there was no tithing. If you had 10 more cows at the end of the year than you had in the beginning, you picked the best cow and led her down to the bishop’s storehouse. The difficulty arose when we transitioned as a people to a modern economy where most people receive a paycheck. Many of us were taught to pay tithing on our gross paycheck, and we have awful feelings of guilt if we pay any less than that. But there are some challenges to this approach.1. It is very regressive. Notwithstanding value of the story of the widow’s mite, the wealthy pay with discretionary income while the poor pay with grocery money, and bear most of the guilt in the church. They face the bishop once a year and proclaim in front of their wives and children that they are a partial tithe payer because they paid only on the net (or something less than net), rather than the gross. It puts us as a people in a position where a two income couple with two kids may look a whole lot more righteous than a single income family with 8 kids.2. What if you live in a country with a 75% tax rate? There may not be much left to live on if you pay tithing on the gross.3. If I own a business (a corporation) that is appreciating and bringing in millions of dollars, but that corporation pays me a salary of only $40,000 per year, do I still pay on my income , i.e., pay $4,000 in tithing?On the other hand, if you pay on 10% of your increase , the poor man (a renter), who is poorer and deeper in debt at the end of the year than the beginning of the year would owe no tithing, even though he draws a meager salary. The wealthy man (who owns a mansion that is appreciating rapidly) would owe tithing not only on his income but on all of his increase in wealth. The challenge of this approach is, that if we are honest, we may then be required to pay tithing on things such as the appreciation in the value of our home (but maybe I can also deduct the depreciation in the value of my cars). How many people do you know who pay tithing on the proceeds of a house sale where their home has appreciated hundreds of thousands of dollars? This makes some people quickly retreat to the safety of the paycheck tithe.Just some rambling thoughts. Not intended to be contentious, just something to think about.

      • Hi Gregory, good comment. :-) Thanks for chiming in. I do have to say that I don’t think the discussion about tithing is about “looking a whole lot more righteous” than someone else. If you give correctly, no one else should have any idea what you’re giving. The Word tells us to give in private, not letting anyone else know what we’ve done…so that our reward is in heaven.
        The whole issue is about obedience. Do we trust God enough with our income that we can give Him 10%?
        We as a family have chosen to tithe off of gross income because we consider that our “first fruits.” That might not work for everyone – it just matters if their heart is in the right place – are they giving cheerfully? If not, the amount of money doesn’t matter at all.
        I, personally, have never seen anyone suffer or do without when they tithe….God has promised in his Word that if we give, it will be given back and even more so.
        Great explanation of the cows – wish it were still that easy. :-)
        You’ve added a great thought to the discussion – thank you!

  9. From my perspective as somebody who has tithed and not tithed, I find the whole discussion of tithing to be bordering on modern day phariseeism. You give what’s in your heart to give. God loves us. Money is nothing more than a trade in return for our labor. I could make a valid case that donating 10% of your time is no different than tithing. But once you put a number on it, it tends towards legalism. Give what you believe God is leading you to give.

    • When talking to the Pharisees, Jesus said:
      “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” Matthew 23:23
      So, Jesus tells the Pharisees to make sure and give out justice, mercy, and faithfulness…but not to neglect the tithe either. The word tithe literally means “tenth” – so it is a real number.
      Tithing certainly is not a salvation issue – it’s about obedience. It’s about our heart. Are we willing to trust God with a piddly 10% and know that he’ll take care of us? But, when we give our tithe we need to do so with a happy heart. :-)
      “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

  10. Stacy, I have to agree with you on all points EXCEPT “God wishes us to be in “slavery” to him, but we cannot do so if we’re enslaved in debt.” Respectfully, that sentence is wrong. Here’s our story: We have a mountain of debt from a failed “business opportunity” that we “fell” for when we worried about the future (and we have since repented of). Yes, technically we owe the credit card companies because they created money out of thin air in the form of credit and extended that credit to us for that biz opp. HOWEVER, they get paid LAST. We tithe faithfully with our first fruits and they get the sloppy leftovers, if there are any. What are the repercussions if we miss some credit card payments? Oh, our credit score suffers but we have decided that WE DON’T BOW TO THE CREDIT SCORE because we have decided to NEVER get into debt again, even mortgages (which IMO are the worst kind of debt since it is tied to the place that you live). We, like you, Stacy, HATE DEBT. And when we told the credit card companies that we didn’t have enough to pay the minimum payment and we did not pay for several months, they negotiated. Oh, yes, they did. Really, I think that they are slaves to us. They have to beg us for “their money” (which as I said before was never really real in the first place — they created it out of thin air). I have no sympathy for credit card companies and their financial shenanigans/deceit and I am NOT a slave to them. Yes, we have a mountain of debt but we are slaves of Jesus and we serve Him our very best, beginning with our hearts, our minds, our time and our resources — our very lives.

    • Hi Elissa, I can tell from your comment that you’re working toward an awesome goal – freedom from debt is wonderful but serving God is immeasurably better! My point comes strictly from Matthew 6:24, which says, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
      I’m not saying someone can’t love Jesus and be in debt. I’m saying the Bible says they can’t be in the bondage of debt and be enslaved to God at the same time.
      God is first in your life and you are serving Him faithfully, but you are always tied to your debt and the chains of it are still there or God wouldn’t have said we were a slave to debt in his Word. If you are working toward freedom from debt, you’re “dropping the chains” so to speak. GREAT JOB!!! :-) Unfortunately, those chains are still there. Don’t pay those bills for long enough and the credit card companies will try to rein you in with threats that may not matter, but eventually with those that do (judgments to force repayment, for example).
      We’ve (my husband and I) seen it happen all too often when counseling others – credit card companies are not slave to us, and they have the ability to make life a living nightmare for those they choose to. So, we’re are just tickled pink to know you’re on your way to being debt free! Go you!! :-)

      • Okay, so perhaps a better way to word that sentence is “God wishes us to be in “slavery” to him, but we cannot do so if we’re slaves to money” because someone could be debt free but still be a slave to making or hoarding money. And since most American Christians (I assume) “enslaved” themselves to mortgages, I just felt that I had to point out that your sentence was incorrect. And, technically, we Americans are enslaved to the IRS since we always owe them — oh and property taxes too — if you don’t pay your property taxes then you will not own your home for much longer even if you “own” it free and clear. And even “real” slaves in the 1st century could be slaves to Christ even though they were more restricted than people who have debt. So, theologically, your sentence was not sound. I hope that you don’t mind my nit-pickiness but I really do think it’s an important distinction. And I honestly am saying it in love and not to be a brat.

        And I want to say that I am so impressed that you and Barry are mortgage free. It really bothers me when folks say that they are debt free but owe the bank hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 30-year mortgage. HOWEVER, even though I think that mortgages are evil (the bank can take away your children’s home if you fall on hard times) I am a firm believer that there is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those of us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and that “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

        I think that you do a good thing to warn people about staying out of debt but I am just very sensitive to feeling condemned because I lived under self-condemnation for a long time and just recently have realized the spiritual freedom of Christ’s finished work in the New Covenant. So, my comments are to show others that a person can be spiritually free and at rest in the ocean of God’s immeasurable love and grace and mercy even though his/her earthly circumstances might stink.

    • The banks and credit card companies may create the money out of thin air but as soon as you spend it, you turn it into real money. I’m not sure that the deceitfulness of banks and credit card companies would be an acceptable excuse before God for failing to keep our own promises. Not to say that tithing and basic living expenses shouldn’t come first and definitely not to say you shouldn’t negotiate or ask for mercy. Just, it sounds like you think they have no real right to the money you borrowed and spent.

      • I’m sorry if that is the way it sounded, smilla. While I am “angry” at the American financial system, I don’t want to spend my time or emotional energy arguing over it. I want to focus on eternally important things — top one being totally united with Christ and living out the freedom that His blood purchased for us.

        My real concern is that Christians don’t have to live under condemnation and that they can have a beautifully free and amazing relationship with the God of the universe who has UNLIMITED resources (Ephesian 3:16) despite their debt or other stinky circumstances. I think it is a great post other than the one particular sentence.

  11. As newlyweds, we weren’t so great with our money – I’ve seen the CC statements from our honeymoon and it wasn’t pretty. When we realized we were creating all sorts of trouble for ourselves, we decided we needed to make some changes. I’ve read things by Dave Ramsey & Suze Ormond, counseled with a pastor. We started with our tithing.

    I’ve found that money, like time, seems to go farther when we dedicate our first fruits to God. When our first check every month (even when my hubby was working on commission) went to the church, our spending and savings habits seemed to improve without much effort. I think part of it was by taking out a chunk of our money from the beginning and claiming it was God’s, we took on a whole new appreciation for what we had left – and started using it more wisely. Even in very lean months, we always seemed to have a surplus.

    Great article – thanks.

    • That’s a great way to do it – and it’s how we operate. Our tithe comes out first – before we do anything else…it’s not even money that’s ever in our hand so that we’re not tempted to spend it. :-)

  12. i appreciated this post. i have also written on money on my blog. we are a missionary family whose mission field is in northern california. living on support for the past 3.5 years has taught me so much about money and trusting God as the Source than anything else before. He is so faithful and money is such a great training grounds for us to be ready for the real riches. learning to live with an open hand to give and receive and dialogue with the Lord about money is priceless!

  13. You hit the nail on the head – realizing that the money is God’s money and we’re just stewards of it is key to using it wisely.

  14. My pastor recently preached on the gift of giving and how it is often misunderstood. (You can check out the podcast at NC4.org) We often feel the desire to give but we say to God, “I have nothing.” He talked about the woman with the jar of oil, who came to Elisha and said, “I have nothing.” but then remembered the oil. He also talked about the widow’s mite Jesus referenced in the new testament. He challenged us that when there are people and causes that we feel called to give to that we make an intentional decision to think and pray about it instead of going with the default answer of “But God I can’t afford it.” I have been feeling this way a lot lately. I feel the urge to I feel like “God, I have nothing.” Yes, I have a responsibility to use my money wisely and care for my family, but all that I have is a gift from God. Thanks for the reminder.

  15. Such good reminders, Stacy! One thing I have been shocked about is the number of families who don’t tithe. When we first married, my husband and I were a little confused about whether we should tithe from gross or net, and we met with a pastor from our church who talked about giving from the first fruits (gross). We have not ever been financially well off, but we’ve followed his advice and we’ve never gone without exactly what we needed.

    I’ve also recently read of people who will “sacrifice” their tithe to buy better (i.e. more expensive, 100% organic) food for their families…I don’t think the Lord blesses that mentality!

    Great post!

    • Personally, I don’t know if there is a significant theological difference between tithing on net or tithing on gross. My husband always tithed on net until we got married. We do tithe on gross now, as I prefer to “pay God first” but I think the most important thing is to tithe. I also struggle with people who say “How much should I tithe, isn’t 10% kind of an arbitrary amount?” Except that the word tithe literally means a tenth. So, 10% isn’t arbitrary. It’s an amount that God asks for us. Small compared to the many blessings we are given.
      I can be hard sometimes when I think of all of the things I could do with the extra couple hundred dollars a month. Or I look at other families who make less than we do but seem to have more, even though they aren’t Christians and don’t tithe. I have to remind myself that none if it is my money and the ten percent I give back to God is my way of thanking him for providing me with the rest of it.

      • Laundry Lady, I think you’re right. It matters not if we pay on gross or net – it’s really about our heart and knowing that God will take care of us no matter what. He ONLY asks for 10% back – aren’t we blessed?
        They might seem like they’re doing better than you – but are they really? Most people are really good at only showing what they want others to see – so if I was a betting woman, I’d say you’re blessed beyond measure and they’re jealous of you. :-)

    • I would be afraid to do that…it seems skewed.

  16. Amen!! You hit it right on the nose. And Malachi’s promise about tithing is 100% true: When we give the Lord “our” 10%, he pours out amazing blessings. Once we obey and tithe, many financial miracles happen. We find the money we need to balance the budget that seemed impossible before. We receive an unexpected break. It really is amazing. Then, of course, we are in debt to the Lord again…for a fresh round of blessings!

  17. When CS Lewis was asked how much charitable giving was enough, he replied something like, “Unless it is more than you can comfortably afford, it is probably not sufficient.”

    Lovely article. Thanks!

  18. Whew! That sure hit home. Money is such a small, worrisome thing, every so often it’s nice to be reminded of the Christian view on it.

  19. That commercial is ridiculous and speaks so loudly of how society thinks about money.

    My view on money. It’s His, we are stewards of it. He blesses us with it, little or much, and we must look to Him for how to spend/save/give.

    Great post Stacy!

  20. Thanks for the healthy helping of Thursday morning conviction! No really, I appreciate it. :)

  21. Stacy….Have I told you lately that I love you? This post is so perfect for me right now. Though I know in my heart our money isn’t “ours” I can’t help but forget that when I am a frugalista in the swings of a budget revamp. I like to plan out every single penny and when I “have to” snip my grocery budget or my “entertainment” budget to allow for tithing it can make me question it a bit. I am just being honest. But the only think I question is my ability to stick to it. Can I reduce my grocery budget and still feed my family so I can give to the Lord? Yes, dear friend, I surely can. Do I want to? Not always. But I give that struggle in my heart over to the Lord. He understands and will continue to work that out of me :)

    • Nikki girl, I love you too. :-) And that’s a struggle we all have. As we’re saving for a heat pump, I know we could surely have the money a lot faster if we just kept the tithe and added it to our savings…and as an 8 1/2 month pregnant woman, I’ll tell you that wanting a heat pump is really high on my list right now.
      I think you’ve got a good mindset and a great heart. The Lord will bless you for your faithfulness. :-)

  22. What a thoughtful and insightful post. Thank you for sharing.

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