Some time ago my life was in shambles:
- I couldn’t hold a job.
- I was months behind on my rent.
- My VERY pregnant wife considered throwing in the towel.
- One of my “friends” suggested I apply for welfare to help with my family.
I had no hope. And was running out of options.
Oh…by the way…I WAS a Christian. I loved the Lord, read my Bible, went to church but was hanging on by a thread.
While praying I opened my Bible and went to a passage in Malachi. It said:
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! (Malachi 3:10 NLT)
My response: “Sooooo…let me get this straight…You want me to start tithing?”
“I have NO money as is, and You want me to give money away??!!”
I looked down at the page:
“Try it! Put Me to the test!”
I’d like to say that I immediately took the leap of faith?—?I went all out and immediately began tithing. I’d like to tell you that I somehow knew this was gonna work and was willing to make the sacrifice.
But here’s the truth:
I shut that passage, and tried to figure something else out. It would be a couple of weeks (ahhh….maybe like two months) before I finally decided to try this “tithing experiment.”
And my life was never the same.
After that I (the poster child of what not to do) became a six-figure earner!
Mr. “awww…he’s not working again?!” Or…Mr. “let’s keep his wife in prayer.”
Tithing completely changed my life!
What is Tithing
Tithing is and will always be controversial. There are always going to be people that question whether or not it is biblical. Just type in “tithe” or “tithing” and you’ll see the people for it and against it:
In this culture, tithing is considered a hoax, a con, and a joke.
In Jewish culture, though, it’s a little different.
The Tithe: A Partnership Between The Giver And God
In Jewish culture, tithing is considered an ancient formula for becoming wealthy. In the Talmud it says:
“Aser bedevil shetisasher” or “Tithe so that you will become rich” (Taanit 9a)
In other words, tithing is a partnership between the giver and God. The giver partners with God in helping the world, God partners with the giver in business affairs.
In fact, when the Bible speaks about the tithe, it uses the Hebrew word “maaser” (pronounced mah-as-ayr‘). It’s used 32 times in the Old Testament.
(Images courtesy of Joseph Prince Ministries)
English is read left to right, Hebrew is read right to left.
The Hebrew language is a language of root words. Prefixes and suffixes are added to build on the meaning of the root word.
So in this word the first letter mem conveys this meaning:
Changing a verb into the noun of that word.
For example: adding mem “to preach” (verb) turns it into “preacher” (noun).
Now taking away mem from “maaser” we’re left with “aser” which means rich.
So another way of interpreting this is:
“The rich is in the tithe.”
Or with “maaser”:
“The one tithing becomes rich.”
In fact, tithing is one of the secret habits of Christian Millionaires (and Billionaires).
In fact, John D. Rockefeller who is the richest Christian to date was a VERY diligent tither. Before Rockefeller’s philanthropy equated to hundreds of millions of dollars (billion adjusted for inflation) he learned how to give at an early age.
According to his biographer, his giving began with his first job as a clerk at age 16, when he gave 6% of his earnings to charity. By the time he was twenty, his giving exceeded 10% percent of his income. Much of it going to church related activities.
He was always under the belief his success was divinely inspired. He said, quite emphatically (God’s Gold , pg.395)
“God gave me my money.”
Why did God single him out for stupendous wealth? He believed it was because he was a good steward. In his seventies he said:
“It has seemed as if I was favored and got increase because the Lord knew I was going to turn it around and give it back.”
So what happened to ME as a result of my tithing? What was the biggest thing it changed in me. I’m glad you asked:
Tithing Helped Me Be a Better Manager
The late billionaire Sir. John Templeton had this to say about tithing and money management:
“I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counseling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who tithed than among those who didn’t.”
As it relates to money, most people pray for increase. Not realizing that real increase comes by way of proper management.
God is not wasteful. He does not mismanage resources. And…He doesn’t give MORE to people who haven’t proven they know how to handle LESS.
The Bible says,
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.” (Genesis 2:4-5 KJV)
Did you get that?
God DIDN’T send the rain because there was no man to work the ground. In other words: God didn’t send increase because there was no man (or man-ager).
In God’s Eyes: no management, no increase.
But…proper management leads to proper increase.
Because I had less to work with I had to learn how to do MORE with less. I had to learn how to prioritize and budget properly. As I learned to manage God increased me accordingly.
Side note: When Jesus spoke about good stewardship it wasn’t just about handling money…it was about multiplying money:
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.” (Matthew 25:14-18 KJV)
Another translation says verse 16 like this:
The servant who had received five talents went and put them to work, and gained five more.” (Matthew 25:16 Berean study Bible)
Jesus also said,
“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, ‘Occupy till I come.'” (Luke 19:13 KJV)
That Greek word “occupy” is the Greek word “diapragmateuomai” (pronounced dee-ap-rag-mat-yoo’-om-ahee). It has different meanings:
- “Gain by business trading.”
- “Busily engaged in making trades.”
- “Increase by trading.”
It implies active, detailed trading that “buys right” and then knows just when to exchange.
So in other words:
- “Gain by business trading” till I come.
- “Be busily engaged in making trades” till I come.
- “Increase by trading till I come.
Again: Christian millionaires (and billionaires) are people who make, manage, and multiply money. Your mission as a future Christian millionaire—should you choose to accept it—is to discover YOUR way to do just that.
It’s your time to do business till He come!
More Tithing & Giving Could Mean Global Impact
It’s a statistical fact that the church is not that great at tithing.
- Tithers make up only 10-25 percent of a normal congregation.
- Only 5 percent of the U.S. tithes, with 80 percent of Americans only giving 2 percent of their income.
- Christians are only giving at 2.5 percent per capita, while during the Great Depression they gave at a 3.3 percent rate.
if believers were to increase their giving to a minimum of, let’s say, 10 percent.
There would be an additional $165 billion for churches to use and distribute. The global impact would be phenomenal.
I’m not trying to guilt trip anyone. But there is a double benefit for tithing that is overlooked. A benefit for the giver as well as the receiver.
Why don’t you give it a try?