Increase your income by tithing
This is a guest post by James Rouse who blogs at Capital Couples Finance where he writes about finances, relationships, and life in general. If you like what you read below, please head over and subscribe to his RSS feed.
The last year has been absolutely incredible in so many ways, not the least of which is my annual household income has increased by more than 30%. I haven’t found a get rich scheme. I haven’t sold anything substantial. I didn’t just graduate from college. I have begun tithing to my church and it has dramatically changed my life. Tithing can literally increase your income.
A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed this was possible. I haven’t even been baptized for a year. But, folks, it’s happened–it’s happening–and I really want to share it with you, not just for your spiritual health, but for your financial health as well.
A Reluctant Tither
I did not want to tithe to my church. My wife and I have a ton of debt. Our income was relatively low. We got by, but every month was a struggle and we tended to spend more than we earned. It was hard for me to accept that we needed to give 10% of our income to our church. How could we afford it? We were barely getting by!
We learned about biblical finances in January of this year through a sermon series given at our church and within a small group Bible study we participated in. After going through both and having studied the subject on my own, I didn’t really believe the Bible required that Christians give a true tithe to their churches. I believed it was an Old Testament requirement and that Christians did need to give, but it was up to each individual to set an amount.
My wife (who is a great Christian influence on me and a wonderful woman) wanted to tithe, so I compromised with her. We’d start giving 10% of our net income. Why should we have to tithe on the money that is taken from us involuntarily in taxes, I thought. Again, we could barely afford any giving in the first place!
But I finally gave in, and it was the best financial and spiritual decision my wife and I ever made. Why? Because God keeps his promises. Here’s the relevant promise, which is often called “The Challenge.” It’s the only place in the Bible where God says we can test him:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
”But you ask,‘How do we rob you?’
”In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty,“and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Mal 3: 8-10 NIV)
How God Blessed Us This Year
My Job – At the beginning of this year, I was in a horrible job. In fact, it was the worst job I’d ever had. My prospects were virtually none. My boss was mean. Nobody liked working for her and everyone was trying to leave. Within one month of beginning tithing, someone I met (just this year at my church!) pointed me towards getting a job in the federal government, something I’d never considered before. To make a long story short, I got a job, make more money, have a great boss that values me, and have tremendous potential for advancement.
My Wife’s Job – She was working part-time for a non-profit (read: no money) and had a crappy boss as well. She had been trying to get a job for a while and had been interviewing without success. The same person at our church personally delivered my wife’s resume to someone in her office. Yada, yada, yada…she had a new job with the federal government within two months. Her income almost doubled and she’s only working about 10 more hours a week.
Showing Us New Ways to Make Money – My wife and I have recently begun looking for alternative ways to bring in money. I’ve started blogging. She’s looking into forming a non-profit. Our whole outlook has changed.
Helping Us Save Money – We’ve also changed the way we’re spending, saving, and shopping. We’ve radically reduced our expenses on our cable, insurance, groceries, etc. We’ve stopped paying more than we need to in so many ways, it’s been like another increase in our income.
Giving – We’ve given so much this year and I’m not trying to brag, I promise. I won’t get into exact figures, but we’ve given quite a bit and we still have more money than we’ve ever had before. I can’t express to you how good it feels to be giving money to our church, to be able to support something that has been such a blessing to my wife and I. It’s wonderful.
I’m not telling you that Christians should tithe because of what we get out of it. That misses the whole point. The point is that God keeps his promises and that we need to have giving hearts. No matter what our financial situation is, we need to make room for giving because it blesses us in so many ways, some of which we may never understand. As I said earlier, it is the best financial and spiritual decision my wife and I ever made. I’m so glad we took that step of faith.
Photo by: Mr. Kris