I have been thinking about the sermon about the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21) preached by Chris Heading at Parkland Baptist Church yesterday. It reminded me of how much tithing is a discipleship issue. Giving is evidence of your relationship with God. Too often money becomes a stumbling block rather than a blessing. Consider Jesus’ words:
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:20-21, CSB
How much does your tithing and giving reflect your relationship with God? I am sure there are others, but there are two areas where this gets very clear: value and trust. Consider these issues to assess your tithing and your relationship with Him.
How much do you value God? Does a review of your checkbook show how much you value Him? Or does it display misplaced priorities and poor discipline? Do you drop a $20 bill in the offering plate trying to soothe guilt, or do you give gladly, generously, and sacrificially? Are you rich toward God, or are you seeking more for yourself? Are you living in such a way that you can bless God and others through your giving?
Consider these words from Jesus in the parable of the rich fool:
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’ That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”Luke 12:20-21
How much do you trust God? Do you believe He can and will provide? Do you believe God will care for you like the birds and the flowers (Matthew 6:26-34)? Or is your life controlled by fear? We are to be wise and not wasteful, but tithing is a step of faith, of trust.
In my experience, bills and expenses will tend to grow to require all of your income plus more–if you allow it. In other words, your expenses will tend to say you cannot afford to have children and you cannot afford to tithe. I have taken both steps of faith (children and tithing) and can confidently say that both have been blessings. There have been times when money has been tight, but God has always provided.
Assess Your Tithing
How much do you value God? How much do you trust Him? Does your tithing reflect His value and your trust? I find pastors, teachers, and disciple-makers who are struggling with these questions and with tithing have difficulty in teaching others. Do you need to get this right? What response does God expect? Tithe. Be a disciple who values and trusts God. Make disciples!