Three Ways Tithing Can Change Your Life
By Jeff Cranston
I recently read about two psychologists named Stephen Lea and Paul Webley who came up with two metaphors to describe the role that money plays in our lives. They say that money is a TOOL and also a DRUG.
Like a tool, money is useful. We use it to pay the bills, to keep the lights on, to keep food in the fridge, etc. But Lea and Webley wisely point out that this particular metaphor—thinking of money as a tool—falls short because it doesn’t fully explain the way we think of money.
The psychologists wisely point out that money is also like a drug. Money makes us feel things we would not otherwise feel. Money gives us a temporary escape from pain or a momentary illusion of well-being. We crave money because we want the buzz that having it and spending it can give.
God—who is the Owner and Provider of all we are and all we possess—created a wonderful way to free people from the “drug” impact that money can have. It’s called tithing. “Tithe” is a word that in both Hebrew and Greek, literally means “a tenth.” It refers to giving a tenth of something. Why do we tithe? Let’s go a little deeper. Why are we called to tithe?
1. We tithe to OBEY.
God—the Owner of all we have—commands us to use our money to further His kingdom. In Leviticus 27:30, we read, “ … all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.”
In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus commended the widow for the faith that motivated her to give her mites. In Romans 12, Paul says we must give not just a tithe of our income—we must offer our entire lives to God for Him to use.
2. We tithe to THANK.
When we tithe, we are saying, “God, I am giving back a portion of all You have given me—to thank you—to show my gratitude for Your great faithfulness to me. You give me so much, and so I am giving back!”
We tithe—we give—to acknowledge that God is the Provider! We give to thank Him for His gracious abundant giving. Does your financial giving to this church and your giving of your life in ministry show your gratitude to God?
3. We tithe to DEEPEN.
You see, when it comes to deepening your friendship with God, there is nothing like tithing. It forces us to trust at new levels, in areas we may not have trusted God before. It deepens our dependence upon Him. We can trust that as we give. God will meet our needs, and He is better equipped to do this than we are on every level!
Ready to take the next step?
Take this tithing challenge if you want to experience God’s great faithfulness. Try tithing out for 90 days. If God does not meet all of your needs, LCC will refund everything you gave. Give it a shot and watch what He does. If you do, your relationship with Him will deepen.
When you give to God through LCC, you're helping reach thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as helping send relief all over the world when disasters strike. When you automate your giving, you help accomplish this mission–even if you can't be in service every week.
Jeff Cranston is lead pastor of LowCountry Community Church in Bluffton, S.C.