This past Sunday one of our members gave a testimony about how God has been speaking to his heart about how he uses his finances. Money is a really touchy subject, but Jesus said “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mat 6:21 ESV) God wants us to know the joy of investing our hearts into Him by giving him our treasure. Check out the story below!
Like perhaps some of you, I always felt like what I gave to God was “good enough.” I subscribed to online giving, supported some missionaries and a child through compassion. I never did the math, but basically figured God knew my heart and I was good.
When I got married, my wife would regularly ask me “Are we tithing?” (Tithing means giving 10% of your gross earnings to God’s work in the church). I’d always answer somewhat vaguely that we were, but when the tax forms came at the end of the year, it was clear that really wasn’t the case. Not only weren’t we tithing, we weren’t even close. And sadly, I let that continue year after year.
At the end of last year, Pastor Jeff’s father preached on giving. Again, my wife asked if we were tithing. This time I told her that, no we really weren’t. Shortly thereafter, we had a small group at Pastor Jeff’s house and we talked about the early church and their giving. At that point, we committed to upping our standard of giving. However, we still were giving something that felt comfortable. Safe.
Later on, Jeff and I had a conversation where I mentioned how I appreciated the way he handled the subject. In the past I’ve heard pastors talk about finances in a way that makes people feel guilty, but at Christ Church this topic was addressed with so much grace. I told him I was inspired, not condemned and that my wife and I had taken steps to increase our giving. He asked me if I wanted to share about how God was working in my life in this area and I said I would pray about it. The next day my wife Georgina lost her job and she was the primary breadwinner in for our family. Yet, we felt that God wanted us to embrace this setback with faith and so we committed to keeping our giving at pre-job loss levels. We went from not tithing to now giving more than a tithe.
I have to tell you it has been a freeing and faith filled experience. I don’t believe God was punishing us for failing to give. I believe God saw our heart and desire to be right spiritually with our giving and saw that He needed to help us get there. God is helping our faith grow in Him and not in our bank account. He’s showing us how He truly is our greatest treasure. We pray that God blesses Georgina with a new job and when she does get it, we want to continue to give even more than a tithe. What God is doing in our lives by freeing us from the anxiety of money is far greater than whatever trying to save a few extra dollars could bring.
In closing, I’d encourage all of you who might not be giving. I was once in a place where I gave God whatever I felt like I could spare. I trusted myself. I was stressed and anxious. However, God is a much better better financial planner than any of us. Trust him and experience daily the miracle of His providence.