Why the 90 Day Tithing Challenge May Not be the Best Idea

The 90 day Tithing challenge is very popular in some circles. In fact, do a Google search and you’ll get:

90 day tithing challenge

And there have been great testimonies of instantaneous breakthrough came as a result of tithing:

  • My Tithing Experience: Bob Lotich of Christian Personal Finance shares that when he started tithing the NEXT day he got a completely unexpected raise.

Wow.

So why would I say the 90 day tithing challenge is bad idea?

Simply this: what if God DIDN’T bless you supernaturally in 90 days? Then what?

It is God’s Will That You Prosper

But before we get into that let’s state the obvious: it IS God’s will that you prosper.

The Bible says,

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, ‘Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.’” (Psalms 35:27 KJV)

That word “prosperity” is the Hebrew word “shalom” which means “completeness, soundness, wholeness, prosperity, peace, friendship in human relationships and with God.”

Prosperity includes money but  is more than money.  “Shalom” speaks to a total life prosperity of wholeness and completeness. This “shalom” was central to God’s plan for humanity.

It was God’s will for Israel:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His Face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His Countenance upon you, and give you peace (shalom).” (Numbers 6:24-26 NRSV)

It’s central to the work of the Messiah:

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon His shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (shalom).  His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace (shalom)  for the throne of David and His kingdom. He will establish and uphold it  with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NRSV)

It’s central to king David’s future reign over Israel:

“My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances and be careful to observe My statutes. They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children’s children shall live there forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace (shalom) with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is among them forevermore.” (Ezekiel 37:24-28 NRSV)

In the Garden of Eden we see the perfect picture of “shalom”–man in peace with his wife, his surroundings, and His God. When sin entered the picture poverty, insufficiency, and strife entered right along with it.

God is very much concerned about the prosperity and wholeness of His children. It was never His will for anyone–especially His children–to be in lack.

But…with that being said…He didn’t put a date on it.

Not to say that He CAN’T. We all know what He can do in 3 days! Heck, we know what He can do in 7 days!

But what if He chose not to?

What if He had something so big in store for you it didn’t manifest in 90 days? What if He was stirring up a blessing so large that it took more than 90 days to prepare you for it?

What we also forget is what He said in verse 11:

“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, said the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:11 KJV)

“Neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field.” Or, in other words,

“I won’t let you have anything prematurely.”

What if He didn’t give you what you wanted in 90 days because HE knew you weren’t ready for it?

So the real issue is not the 90 day tithing challenge but God’s time table…which is ALWAYS off from ours. :)

But what do you think? Is the 90 day tithing challenge a bad idea?

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Comments

  1. This is such an encouraging post. If we presume to use the tithe to “test” God (which He says is okay), we must do it in the knowledge and faith that He TRULY desires that we (shalom) prosper. When we believe that we are heirs in the Kingdom (sons and daughters), not orphans rescued into His family as a puppy is rescued from the SPCA, we will realize that He wants our peace, happiness and success. It’s no different than how we want our earthly kids to succeed.

  2. Excellent post. We will experience a tremendous blessing when we tithe. Not saying because we give a certain amount God is going to double or triple that amount or it will be a direct financial blessing. I have been a tither for a long time and I have experienced God bless me in incredible ways. I remember one particular time I was asking God why I was reaping the financial blessings I thought I should. I was a tither and expected to see more financial increase. God spoke quietly to me and said, ‘how many times have your car broken down, how many times have you been sick, how many times have you missed a bill payment, how times have you gone hungry and a list of other things. I shut up and kept giving. I found out quickly tithing is a matter of the heart and not the wallet.

    • Wow! Bernard that is a testimony. I definitely get you. There are times I feel the same way: I’m like God where are these “windows of heaven.” But I am convinced He is done yet and He will remain faithful to His Word. I’m glad you enjoyed the post :)

  3. Mike I love the balance you bring to this. I think so often these 90 day tithing challenges are simply used to “make” God give us what we want. God will bless us when we sacrifice for him but it may not always be financial and it may have to wait until heaven.

    • Exactly! I don’t think we mean to–but we really do try to “get” God to do something. It’s almost like fasting …some treat it as a hunger strike. If we fast long enough He’ll fly down from heaven saying, “Alright, alright! That’s enough I’ll give you what you want!! Just please…eat!” lol

      And you’re right: God will bless us when we sacrifice for Him :)

  4. Mike,

    I love what you are doing with your blog. I think you are providing the encouragement, resources, and the loving push people need. Keep it up! You’re helping to spark a revolution of generosity.

    • Sean,

      I really do appreciate that. And I really do hope to spark that revolution. I know its going to take time, but the best blessings do take time.

      Thank you again for the kind words :)

  5. Great post.
    I hadn’t heard of the 90 tithe challenge but right away I would shy away from it. Like you said, what if God didn’t plan on blessing you till day 107 and you stopped at day 90?
    We can’t put limits on God.

    God’s grace is enough. God promises blessing upon blessing to His children but that doesn’t seem to be enough for most of us. Instead, we complicate things or try and manipulate things by adding or subtracting to His grace.

    There’s not a magic formula to make God move in our time frame.

    The one thing I will say that might be good about a 90 challenge is that it could help people get in the habit of giving… of making sure the tithe check is given instead of justifying NOT giving it (new tires on the car, fix the hot water tank, eat out, date night, new bike, etc).

    • You’re right: we can’t put limits on God. He has the habit of blessing us when we least expect it…it usually AFTER we expect Him to.

      It seems like we’re caught up in trying in manipulate Him for some reason. It’s like a prevalent Martha spirit (or attitude): “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? TELL HER to help me!” As if He were some child. Sadly, I’m guilty of this as well.

      Again: I’m not saying God CAN’T–He can do anything. What if He chose not to, could we still serve Him? :)

  6. (spoken like a rube) Geez – what’ll they think of next?

    Exactly – why do we insist on trying to change, modify, or improve on what God says? There is no three month rule in Scripture that I know of, but in *our* world (ours in the communal sense, not as in the one we all want to be in) someone is always coming up with a new way to hook us – 90 days to a wonderful new body! 90 days to find your Godly mate! 90 days of tithing – do it this way and watch the blessings pour down from heaven!

    Some folks really need to stop drinking their own kool-aid. Give to the Lord – start with your life, and it will reach your wallet sooner or later (that is, of course, if your faith is more than mere head knowledge)…but, who am *I* to speak to this lost and idolatrous generation? Oh, yeah – that’s right… :)

    • We put God in a commercial, tell Him to sit down, be quiet, then we sell everybody on what He can do. And we let them know WHEN He’s going to do it.

      I’m not saying God CAN’T bless in 90 days–He can do anything. What if He chose not to, could we still serve Him? That’s the question.

      Who are you? You’re a child of the King. His ambassador. If you don’t speak who will ?? :)

  7. I like the idea of giving. I get a little concerned about these type of things when people give to get which is part of our fallen nature. The word prosperity that you touched on and defined, even in the NT is so much deeper than “mammon.” The mammon or money in our culture is just a by product of the right heart. I honestly think it should be the “90 year challenge.” I know I’m probably driving home the point you made, but the one that sticks out to me.

  8. I am so glad to read an intelligent article on this subject. Although I did not like to see the NIV quoted, the information is very sound. God Bless.

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