Day 6

Belongings - Day 6 How to Give to God on a Ramen-Noodle Budget I was 18 the first time I heard about the “tithe.” It seemed overwhelming. Could I really trust God enough to give ten percent of my college, part-time worker’s income to my church? Ten percent would only be about $7 a week. What could God even do with an amount that small? Then my pastor said something I’ll never forget. He said, “God doesn’t want more from you; He wants more for you.” This didn’t make sense to me at first. How could God want something for me by taking money from me? My problem was that I forgot it was never mine in the first place. Why choose giving? Because God is the greatest giver of all time. He paid our debt by sending Jesus to die for our sins. That’s irrational generosity. So, when we choose to give our first and best to God, we’re becoming more like Him. Tithing has nothing to do with money. God doesn’t need your money, because He’s God. And the church isn’t using Scripture just to guilt you into giving. A good church looks out for your heart. Why? Because God wants your heart. So, what does Jesus tell us about money? Three Things Jesus Never Said About How to Give to God: 1. If you don’t have much to give, you don’t have to give. 2. You don’t have to tithe if you do other things, like serving. 3. You can love money as long as you still love Me. Three Things Jesus Actually Said About How to Give to God: 1. A limited budget doesn’t have to stop you from living a generous life. There’s a story in the book of Mark where Jesus watches rich men boast about their offerings and a poor woman give “a measly two cents.” But Jesus says the poor woman gave more because she gave all she had. The story shows us it’s not about the amount we give. It’s about the faith we have. 2. If we want to become more like Jesus, we don’t get to skip over the hard parts. In Matthew 23, Jesus says we should tithe, but not forget about important things like justice and mercy. Some people view this as permission not to tithe, but I think the opposite is true. When I started giving, I wanted to serve more. We don’t get to pick the version of Jesus we want to be. 3. Love of money is the number one competitor for our obedience to God. When we trust in money to provide, we’re turning money into an idol. That’s why Jesus said we can’t serve both God and money. We can’t expect to hoard our money and still please a generous God. If you’re skeptical about tithing, I understand. But I’ve never felt closer to God than when I decided to trust Him in my finances—even when my finances could barely fund my ramen. Don’t buy the lie that the Church just wants money from you. We are the Church, and God wants generosity for you. —Alli

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