For many people who make the decision to turn their backs on the wrong teaching of the 10% tithe, the question becomes, “How and where do I do my giving now?”
In sharing some of my personal experiences over a span of several years, my purpose is merely to give an example and some encouragement. Jesus Christ is the model and needs to be the Lord of your giving, through the Holy Spirit who will lead into all truth.
When the Lord first opened my eyes to the truth about tithing I struggled with fear of man and some other personal sins. They surfaced in the form of thoughts such as, “What will the pastor, the church and my friends think of me if I quit tithing?” So I tried to convince myself and the Lord that my continued giving of around 10% was my decision. After all, I was free, wasn’t I? Therefore I could willingly choose to give 10% if I wanted to, couldn’t I?
Ahh…The deceitfulness of our own reasoning!
I personally knew no one else at that time who believed that tithe teaching in the church was a deception. So there was no one in my life for support on the issue and the enemy bombarded me daily with, “Who do you think you are?! What if you’ve got it wrong? You could be putting yourself and your family under a curse!”
Then he would have me take another look around at the hundreds of recognised preachers who preach their bi-annual sermons, expounding on how God commands us to tithe and then ask me again, “Compared to all those leaders and their understanding of Scripture, who do you think you are?!”
It took me a while to work through all that. To be persuaded that I was who God said I was. A sheep who knew the voice of my Shepherd. And I had heard His voice on the subject of tithing!
I thank God for His beautiful faithfulness!
I dipped a toe in the waters of freedom and let the offering plates roll on by once or twice! It got easier each time and I waded in to splash around!
But now the question became, “How and where do I give?” Especially since I have stepped away from the institutional church and am in a home fellowship.
In looking back over several years and some trial and error in my learning, I realized at this point there are three basic categories I have been able to identify in my personal journey in giving.
The first category is giving when God says give and to whomever He says. If He gives you an exact number for the amount, give the amount He says, no more and no less. I found out this first one I’ve mentioned rarely happens in my life and at first I was surprised at how seldom I was commanded by the Holy Spirit to give! And I now understand that giving is a lifestyle, it is a heart position and it doesn’t always involve money.
For a glimpse into my trial and error experiences in this first category, I recall a pastor and his family who were acquaintances of ours and I could see there was a major problem in his personal life. There were some relationship issues in his family that weren’t of the fruit of the Spirit and I knew weren’t pleasing to the Lord. I found it very difficult to respect him.
He was a pastor in one of the many denominations who supported their pastors, paying for virtually everything including a house to live in.
When the pastor “lost his job” and the family was left with almost nothing the Lord moved on my heart to give them a certain amount of money. I argued all the points on why that didn’t make sense and gave them less then the amount the Lord specified.
Have you noticed when you disobey the Lord He doesn’t forget about it? He doesn’t sweep it under the rug and say, “Oh well, you certainly tried!” Needless to say, several weeks later that family got a second envelope in the mail for the full amount.
As far as I know that pastor has not yet repented of his wickedness but that was a steep learning curve for me in being trained to not lean on my own understanding when the Lord speaks to me about giving.
The second category is to give out of compassion to the poor around me, especially among the brethren. When I see people who are really trying hard, but are still struggling financially, it blesses me greatly to be able to contribute something to them.
I’ve been in those kinds of situations where a little goes a long way and it doesn’t need to be thousands or even hundreds of dollars to really make a difference.
However, I do not give to those with an aversion to physical labor. I agree with God in believing hunger can be an incentive to help people repent from a lazy lifestyle and the deception that someone else’s laboring should pay for their personal needs.
For another glimpse at a second steep learning curve in my life, I remember yet another pastor and his family who were also going through some tough times financially. I liked this man and his family and wanted to help them by giving them some money but the Lord said “No.” The situation they were in was His doing and He had a purpose in mind.
I sensed He has been trying to speak to them for some time on several issues including the issue of putting internationally known ministers and their teachings about money on the pedestals of idolatry.
He loves us enough to use circumstances to bring us to the point at times where we will be honest enough to cry out, “Lord, why isn’t this working?”
The third category is when I see a work of the Kingdom I would like to be involved in. I have noticed these works are usually small and virtually unknown ministries with whom I have a relationship. Nothing flashy or splashy, just people who love the Lord and do not lean on man for their provision.
Ministries who truly believe if they seek His Kingdom and His righteousness all their needs will be provided for. Including any needs they may incur while fulfilling their designated work in the Kingdom. Ministries who do not believe thousands of dollars spent in advertising with emotionally charged words and pictures are Kingdom methods nor are they necessary to get the job done.
I have become much more selective in my giving and much more blessed! To sum it up, my giving is no longer something I do, instead it is a loving that my heart participates in.
- facts about tithing under the law of Moses, [Part 3 of series] (eatinglocusts.wordpress.com)
- is tithe teaching for the church, or is it error? Part 2 (eatinglocusts.wordpress.com)
- is tithe teaching for the church, or is it deception? Part 1 (eatinglocusts.wordpress.com)