Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tithing Alone Does Not Bring Financial Freedom

The following is a guest post from Steven Toschlog who works as an accountant in Richmond, Indiana.

You’ve just put your tithes into the offering plate. Now, getting out of the financial mess you’re in is all up to God. Right? Luke 6:38 - “Give and it will be given to you…” (NIV) You say, “Surely God will keep His Word and cause more money to come my way. The ball is in God’s court because I’ve done my part. I’m going to be patient and wait on God. I will not lose faith because I know being a tither will get me out of this jam.”

The perception exists that tithing (giving 10% of your income to your local church) is the only thing God requires of us before pouring out financial blessings. The bible does promise a reward for tithing. Malachi 3:10 - “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 you will not have room enough for it.” (NIV) The truth, however, is that tithing is just the beginning.

It’s a team effort. You will receive financial freedom not because God did it all but because you did your part as well.You ask, “What is my part?” James 2:17 - “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (NIV) This is where many tithers fall short. They give their tithes, but then go sit to watch God do something miraculous. While God certainly can bring a miracle in the form of unexpected income, He usually does not cause a large check to show up in your mailbox just because you threw 10% (or more) into the plate. God usually brings extra income by opening up doors for better employment, additional education, skill development, or even revealing areas where your spending has been out of control. Tithing is your act of faith, but God expects you to put some action with your faith by walking through the open doors that He provides.

The most critical action required in order to score is this: Properly manage the other 90% through the use of a monthly spending plan. Utilizing a spending plan for what you already have shows God you have a plan for handling the resources He provides. It’s the most tangible way to put action with your faith and results in God entrusting you with more. In the parable of the talents, the master praises two servants for how well they managed the resources entrusted to them. Matthew 25:21, 23 - “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” (NIV)

God will not do your part for you. It’s your responsibility to put in the employment application, work hard, cut out unnecessary spending, and live on a budget (and stick to it). This is how tithers win the game of financial freedom by working pro-actively with God as a team to better their situation. Tithing alone will not get the job done, but it is a necessary first step. If you’re not tithing, start IMMEDIATELY.

Afterwards, don’t become a spectator. Do YOUR part to make financial freedom a reality. You may not be waiting on God after all. He may be waiting on you to put some action with your faith.

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