By Cortni Marrazzo, Crosswalk.com
Most people would concede that our current economy is going through some tough times and most people are feeling the impact in some way or another. Unemployment rates are rising, gas and food prices are rising, house values are going down in many areas- the list goes on. As Christians, we aren’t immune to these troubles, but we know that God will provide a way out and will help us overcome if we trust in Him and follow in his principles.
Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” It doesn’t say he has given us the power to get wealth only when the economy is strong. God’s principles work no matter what the outside circumstances are and no matter what the economy looks like.
“‘Bring 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; ‘And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land’ says the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-12
One of the ways God enables us to create wealth is by rebuking the devourer and keeping Satan away from destroying our finances. But there is a condition we must follow – we must bring our tithe into the storehouse (the church). Most Christians know this and many already do so. However, when money is tight and the bills exceed the income, tithing is unfortunately usually the first to go. The thinking goes like this: if you cut back on giving your 10%, you will have more money left to pay your bills. Plus, God understands, right?
The problem is that God and His principles don’t follow the logic we know. God’s teachings often appear backwards from what we would naturally believe (the first will be last, if you want to be great then serve, etc.). So while it may seem logical that cutting back on tithing would help your financial situation currently, the truth is, this actually leaves you behind.
Here are a few reasons it is important to tithe, even when money is tight:
God Tells Us To Tithe
First and foremost, God tells us in His Word to tithe. We are to obey Him, thus we are to tithe. Even if it doesn’t make sense to us, God is smarter than we are and His ways are higher (Isa 55:8-9). He knows that tithing is for our own good and that is why He tells us to do it.
The Unchurched Need Our Help
Our tithes provide for our churches and help them to continue to reach more people. In the above verse from Malachi, God tells us to tithe so that there may be food in His house, in other words that His church would have the finances and ability to do what it needs to do to reach the lost and needy. In fact, when the economy is tough and peoples’ finances are going south, we often see an increase in unchurched people reach out to find Jesus and to get His help. If Christians stop tithing then the church won’t be able to afford the resources to reach these people.
Tithing Keeps You Focused on and Trusting in God
If you stop tithing in order to save money, you immediately stop trusting in God and start trusting in yourself and in the world. If you are truly trusting God to provide for you, then you know He can (and will) provide all your needs, even when it seems like you can’t afford to tithe. There are so many different ways God can bless you and provide for you that it’s impossible to even guess them all. And in my experience, He’ll usually do so in a way that surprises you. Increasing your income or bringing you extra money is only one of the ways He can work. He can provide you with a free service that otherwise would have cost you a lot more, He can keep your car from breaking down and costing you a hefty bill, He can keep you from becoming sick or your property from being vandalized, He can provide a sale on something you need to buy -- the list goes on and on. God thinks and works outside the box and He just wants you to trust Him to do what He said without trying to take matters into your own hands.
I’ve often heard the saying that 90% of your income with God’s blessing is better than 100% without it, and I have seen this to be true many times in my own life.
Tough Economic Times are Usually When You Need God’s Blessing the Most
God’s financial blessings abound when you tithe so why would you want to stop the flow of blessing when you need Him the most? If unemployment rates are rising, don’t you want God’s blessing to provide you with steady income? If sales are down, don’t you want His blessing to increase your revenue in the midst of it? If gas prices are going up, don’t you want His blessings to help you afford to fill your tank? Obviously, God can choose to bless us at any time and in any circumstance, but when we stop focusing on God as Lord of our lives, we can easily miss out on the graces He wants to give us. As Christians, why wouldn’t we want to do our part to honor God and open the door wide to all the possibilities He has in store for us?
If you’ve been struggling with tithing on a tight budget or if you have stopped tithing altogether, I encourage you to start again as soon as you can. Even if you start with only a small percentage and work your way up, it is still something. God knows things are tough and that tithing isn’t always easy, but He also knows it works and that it blesses you and leaves you better in the end. And when things get tough, find encouragement through God’s Word and remind yourself of the good things to come. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
Many Christians are wondering if they should still tithe during times of extreme hardship such as an epidemic. Read our latest answer at: Should You Still Tithe if You're Struggling Financially During the Pandemic?
Cortni Marrazzo currently resides in Spokane, Washington with her husband Jason. She has an Associate’s Degree in Biblical Discipleship from Dominion College and is currently pursuing her passion for writing and personal finance. She and her husband successfully paid off over $11,000 worth of debt in their first year of marriage and she desires to help others reach their financial potential. Contact her at [email protected] or view some more of her financial articles here.
Cortni Marrazzo lives in Spokane, WA with her husband Jason and their two elementary-age sons, one of which has special needs. She has a Degree in Biblical Discipleship and has a passion for the local church and encouraging and inspiring people toward God's word. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Facebook.