In the last post, we talked about giving God the first fruits of our time. Today, we’re going to look at giving him the first fruits of our money. Ah, everyone’s favorite topic: finances. In general, this is not a popular topic, but it’s one I think is vitally important. Below are some questions that should help us start evaluating this area.
1. What do I spend my money on? (Consider all areas of your spending. Necessities and non-necessities.)
2. How much of my money do I give to God and God alone? If the answer to this question isn’t at least 10%, I’d encourage you to start working towards that goal. I’ve not yet heard a story where tithing ultimately had a negative effect on someone’s life. God promises to pour out His blessings when we step out in faith and put our trust in Him. Malachi gives us one of the best known verses about this. Malachi 3:10 reads:
“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.”
3. How involved is God in deciding where the rest of my money goes? (Do you pray about your general budget?)
4. From what areas of my finances have I excluded God? (What money have you made “off-limits” to God? A vacation fund? Year-end bonuses? (does anyone still get these??)
5. What part of my money is used in a way that I haven’t consulted with God about? (Do you assume that certain purchases are okay because they’re small or they’re just something you’ve always done?)
Obviously, all of us are in very different financial situations. For instance, my husband and I will likely never be able to afford an elaborate in-ground pool or yearly vacations to an island or new cars. Does that mean that anyone who does spend money on those things is sinning? Absolutely NOT! God will choose to pour out more financial blessings on some of us than others — and He’ll ask us to do different things with the money He gives each of us.
And we need to remember that, too: All of the money we “earn” is a gift from God. All the talents we use to earn that money are gifts from God. When we remember that, it’s easier to consult Him about these decisions. We have to remember to change our prayers from “How much of MY money do I have to give you?” to “What would You like me to do with YOUR money?”
What I’d encourage us to do is this: Pray about each use of our money. Just because we get a raise doesn’t necessarily mean we can now get a more expensive car or fly on vacation instead of drive. It might mean that, sure. But it might also mean that we can support a local food pantry or donate a piece of land to a church plant.
My challenge to you: For the next few days, consult with God about each purchase (even if it’s one you usually take for granted). See if He has any new, exciting plans for the money He’s entrusted into your care.
If you’re struggling with a particular aspect of giving your money to God, please feel free to share in the comments below (or in an email, if you’re more comfortable with that firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you’ve been successful at giving God the first fruits of your money, please share some of your strategies below!
I’d love to hear, too, about any of you who started tithing (or increased your tithe) and saw God do spectacular things. I’m sure some of you have amazing stories about this!
In my post next Monday I’ll share a situation that caused me to make a big change in my life in regards to giving God my first fruits (specifically of my time/energy).
In the meantime, look for (prayer) warrior wednesday posts and (unsolicited) suggestion friday posts later this week!
To read the next part in this series, click here: (becoming) fully submitted, part 4
To read this series from the beginning, click here: (becoming) fully submitted, part 1
You might also be interested in the (becoming) a good steward series — while this series isn’t exclusively about money, it is about surrendering what we like to control to God.