Spiritually Speaking… Give to Get or Get to Give; Your Call

I think I have written about tithing at least once or twice and also asked that you remember tithing comes in the form of time and talent as well as money. I can personally remember times in church when tithing was my least favorite part of the service. But as is my way, I have to read and understand things for myself as opposed to taking someone else’s word for things; that is unless that Word comes straight from the Lord. So I’m coming to you today with my interpretation of this tithing thing. And for my purposes, let me simply say that my point is made by the phrase “putting God first.” I am convinced that God does not need my money, nor my time and certainly not my meager talents. But I believe He recognizes and appreciates how I use them all, as they are indeed gifts and blessings from Him.

Without going into investing your talents and doing unto the least of these is doing unto Christ, the point is, God is only seeking a tenth of what He has given to you so that we, you and me-the church, can invest back into His people for His purposes. Again, God don’t need your money. What He expects is for you to put Him first in all that you have, all that you do and especially with the unique gift(s) He’s blessed you with. See, tithing is really not about giving. It is about receiving. I know that sounds backwards, however, the tithe represents a gift to be received by someone. That’s the point. I guess you could say God’s tithe is His grace to us. Our tithe is our gift given to Him. He just lets us know that the attitude of putting Him first is rewarded. “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 open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10. From God’s mouth to your ears. Test me, He says. This is one place in the bible that God says I dare you to test me. The tithe is the test as in testimony.

I cannot speak for you but for years I was unwilling to take this test. The world has a way of clouding the ultimate point of just attempting to tithe with time, talent and money. But if you put God first, you will find the time, the money and the opportunity to share our gifts for His glory. It’s all about attitude and perspective. But remember the servant who took the one talent and buried it and simply returned to the master one talent? It was taken from him and given to the one who took His five talents, invested them, earned five more and returned 10 to the master. What are you doing with yours? God is only testing you regarding 10%. It seems like a small price to pay to open the floodgates to heaven. I’m just saying. Take the test and may God bless and keep you always.

James, jaws@dallasweekly.com