My First Year Results with Tithing: A Personal Case Study (Part 2)

My tithing case study

 

When we last spoke I shared with you that I lost my job. I was calm but devastated. I didn’t even know what to think. All I knew was: I was tired. And I had to somehow explain this to my wife.

Not fun.

I was fired on 4/12/13, I told her on 4/13/13. She did not take it well. She didn’t scream, didn’t shout, but I knew she felt it. Her only response was: “if you knew they were going to fire you, why weren’t you looking for other work?”

Are you serious?

I didn’t know they were going to fire me.

I didn’t know what was going to happen.

I kept believing that God would make a way out of no way. Well a way was made: out the front door!

On 4/14/13 I gave the message at my church. What I didn’t know that while I was praying and grappling with the message my wife was praying and grappling with God concerning our lives. According to her she was praying and crying. In essence, she said something like this: “God if You’re with us in this and if this is you show a sign please.” The funny thing is  after I preached the church raised a love offering for me. Now mind you I’m not a guest speaker, it’s my own church, but they raised  it. I guess God answered her prayer.

He was indeed in the middle of this storm with us.

The next day I was informed by wife that I (personally) was scheduled to get a  large refund check . When I heard that I could hardly stand! Thank you Jesus!

May

5/3/13–Even though I was expecting that refund check, my income had dried up, and I wasn’t sure if I was getting unemployment. On this day I finally received it.

5/13/13–I received the Federal refund.

5/14–5/15–During this time I was really fascinated regarding this “tithing subject.” Problem was, I didn’t see much info on it. Then the idea came to me: “Why don’t you build a blog about it?” So on these two days I bought the theme and domain for tithehacker.com.

June

June I have to admit was pretty uneventful. Aside from looking for work, waiting for the “windows of heaven to be opened,” worrying how I was going to pay my rent, I can’t say anything intriguing happened.

July

In July my wife received all of her tax refund and decided to take the kids to go to Jamaica on vacation.

Yes…I kid you not. She took the kids and herself on vacation.

The rest of my funds were held up as NY state wanted to verify that my daughter was my daughter. And they wanted to take their sweet…sweet…sweet time. It wouldn’t have been that much of an issue if I was working…but as you can guess…it was. It was during this time that Tithehacker was in full swing. I had a guest post on Relevant: “What Would Happen if the Church Tithed.” Which led to an interview or two.

But personally I wasn’t feeling it. More and more I was disgusted with tithing and the lack of results. Everyday I felt the need to just quit this whole “experiment.” This was evident in a very lengthy journal entry on 07/18/13:

“Ate a bit of my tithes today. Had $80 worth of tithes and spent $20 on IHOP. The meal wasn’t even worth it! I got flabbergasted (I can’t believe I used that word) with my lack of funds and the tithe was just sitting right there. Although I must admit, the mismanagement of funds was my fault. I am convinced the windows of heaven may not happen this year. It could very well be that God will continue to test me throughout the year but am seriously unsure of any floodgates opening. Not sure if I am being deceived, doubting, or ‘in the Spirit’ but this is what I believe. Still without work and its taking its toll on self esteem. Feel like less than a man and I can’t even look my own wife in the face. She is out working all day and I sit in front of a computer in an air-conditioned room. Had a conversation with God yesterday. Asked Him to intervene, reminded Him of His Promises, and thanked Him for making a way. Still believe that He is God and He can move when He is ready.”

Is that honest enough for you?! :)

Now you be honest with me: what do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts

 

 

email

Comments

  1. The rain falls on the just and the unjust – and tithing does not mean you are immune to a good bucket of water poured over you. However you must examine your motives for giving. Is it giving to get? Giving to be blessed? or Giving because you cheerfully want to obey what you consider God is telling you to do. God does expect us to use our finances wisely and that includes our spending habits. God loves a cheerful giver and we give because we love God.

  2. I was terminated on Dec. 3, 2013, to say I was devastated would be an understatement. To make matters worse, it was a dear friend who terminated me. Haven’t worked in 4 months. Just signed up to be a substitute teacher. Still trusting God to provide. Your testimony gives me hope.

    • Valerie, I am glad. Let me say this: the story is not over. When I got over this hump God began doing amazing things for me. In fact, I just put in the new installment. Please keep the faith…God has you in the Palm of His Hand. Even when you don’t see a way God has a way

  3. I just want to thank you for being so transparent. I can feel the frustration and pain as you write (and I empathize). The interesting thing is that “we” always want God to show himself the way we figure is best for us – with our pre-conceived ideas. Who are we to tell God how we should be blessed and when? Also, why do we always think that the blessing must be financial or material? I don’t think he thinks that way.

    Question is…are my needs being met? Are your needs being met?

    • Thank you David! I have learned and am learning that God does not bless me according to my preconceived notions. Nor does He always bless me the way He has blessed someone else. I don’t fully know how God thinks but I am sure of one thing: He loves me and knows what’s best for me. That’s all I can ask for.

  4. Tithing is not connected to a slot machine handle that produces us a winning match. We give in obedience to God’s Word. We give because we trust God at His Word. God has a way of blessing us in incredible ways. I lost a job several years ago at the worst possible time I thought. Our son who was born 3 months premature had just came home from the hospital after two months, my wife was sick for the entire pregnancy and six months afterwards. She had to have major surgery. I was paying a $1100 bill from a bad business deal, both cars decided to have major problems and the list goes on. We had not money coming in, but unemployment. We tithe on that amount. We had some tight times, but God provided. That has been eight years ago. We do not lose anything. God is a keeper of His Word. It is easy to trust God when we are working and the money is coming in. The real test comes when we have to trust Him to provide with no job and no money coming in.

  5. Rick Dawson says:

    Mike,
    We both know it is both hokey – and still the truth – to say that honesty is the best policy. The simple facts are never so simple as they first seem, and the strongest of hearts can grow weary waiting to see evidence of God’s working in a single area of our lives.

    Bernard nailed it when he pointed out that tithing is not connected to a slot machine, and giving with the expectation of getting something in return? That thinking doesn’t stack up well against scripture.

    If tithing were only measured in coin of the realm, that would be one thing – but think on this: we are to put our entire life on the altar as a living sacrifice, not merely our wallets or one-tenth of our body. If our focus gets out of whack, the Word helps remind us that He wants it all to be at His disposal, and to trust Him. *That* is where the challenge usually kicks in for most of us.

    In our situation? I’m living on 100% disability from the cancer that should have killed me. The law of the land allows me to earn up to $1K/month on top of that, but since we’ve been working as Dad’s caretakers (living under his roof, taking care of his needs), there is not a lot of cash to put in the basket. Instead, we put ourselves in the basket – and help the church community with any and every gifting we have, including time.

    We aren’t promised prosperity in all cases – and for some of us, even sustainability is a stretch – but we are commanded to be obedient. That’s enough of a starting place for me to go back and re-examine everything I ever thought I knew on the subject of true wealth and what we are to do with it.

    Love you, Mike!

    • Thank YOU for your transparency Rick! And yes I love you too!!

    • The number one reason you should tithe is because the word instructs us to give to support the ministry of Christ. Churches have expenses, light bills, pastor salaries, etc…Tithing brings us in to a financial partnership with Jesus Christ. Simply put, if you support His business then He will see to it that your business does well. The second most important reason to tithe is to “rebuke the devourer” for YOUR sake. Anything can happen to us on this planet. We need God’s protection and most of all His “Favor”.

      No, tithing is no guarantee that you will become wealthy but it is guaranteed to STOP the devourer. The devil (Lucifer) tries to snare people with the guilt feeling that your only giving to get. Satans favorite anti-tithing tool is your motives are WRONG. Satan would like to cut all tithes off today. Starve the church completely out and shut em all down. Well what does God’s word say? GIVE and it shall be GIVEN. God’s says to test Him on this.

      Don’t believe the lies people!! Just do what God says and let it go at that…. The flip side is… God’s says if you don’t give……. then……. you fall under a financial curse. What does that curse mean? The curse is simply that you are blocked from receiving God’s financial help. OUCH!!! You’re on your own!! This gives Satan free will to start wreaking havoc in your financial affairs and then he will come to you and start accusing God of not taking care of you. He is really quite good at this game. Remember it is warfare and in war there are casualties.

      It is NOT God’s nature to take, take, take. God is a GIVER, a PROVIDER. His only desire is that you TRUST Him. He doesn’t need YOUR money. What God needs is for you to TRUST Him. This includes your money needs. Do yourself a huge favor. Believe God on the money issues. Support God’s church spreading and standing for His Son Jesus Christ and see Him protect your interest.

Speak Your Mind

*