My First Year Results with Tithing: A Personal Case Study (Part 3)

My tithing case study

In case this is your 1st time here, this case study is an unbiased account of my first year tithing. In my first post I spoke about being fired within my first 90 days of tithing (click here). In the 2nd post, I spoke about being disheartened not seeing the results from my tithing experiment (click here).

It’s been a fun trip so far, so why don’t we continue the ride?

August

By this time  not having the rent in hand was starting to wear on my landlord and his family. Who I have to admit was rather patient about the whole thing. The unemployment check I was receiving was not enough to cover the bills and the rent. On 8/3/13 they finally confronted me:

“Spoke to Bill (the landlord’s son) who informed me that he needed the rent. He told me I would need to come up with a plan to make this happen.”

The next day I wrote:

“He came upstairs and told me I have 2 weeks to get him the money.”

To get our minds off the whole thing my wife made plans for us to take our kids splish-splash. In all honesty, I shouldn’t have gone. I only had $20 of discretionary income and I really felt horrible at not being able to buy my kids anything. We went on 08/10/13. I was angry and sullen the entire day. It was a really rotten day– my mood completely destroyed the day.

(You want honesty–you’re getting honesty.)

By this time my wife and I came to the conclusion that it was time to leave our apartment. Though I was looking for work and getting closer to finding a new job we knew our landlord’s patience had run out. After much thought we decided it was best to move into the house she and her mother co-owned.

God, I hated it. But I had no choice. Given the circumstances it was the best choice.

On 08/12/13 I had an interview and on the same day we informed her mother we were moving in.

On 08/14/13 I accepted a job offer at my current company.Thank God! Finally,  a ram in the bush! The day however  did take a nosedive when I ran into my landlord, here’s an excerpt to detail what happened:

“Met Mr. Bell he was really unhappy and he told me I was in a lot of ‘trouble’ because of the missing rent. Really felt sick after that because I like him and want to pay him the back rent. Hope deferred made my heart sick.”

That was really painful because like the entry said I did want to pay him. But there was nothing I could do. Ironically, even though I finally got a job it was around this time that I seriously considered curtailing my “experiment.”

September

September came in with a whirlwind of activity: we were moving in, moving out, moving the excess to storage, getting me ready for my new job, and etc. And in the middle of that the decision to suspend my tithing experiment was roaring louder in my head. Then on fateful day of 9/14/13 the roar became overpowering:

“I have decided to suspend my tithing. The Bible says, ‘In the house of the righteous is much treasure…’ (Prov. 15:6 KJV); ‘There is much treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up.’ (Prov 21:20 KJV).
I need to be wiser and establish a base of capital  in which to work from…I am tired of giving out of lack I now want to give out of my abundance. Poverty is wrong–and its wrong for me not to do EVERYTHING possible to get out it.”

That settled it.

I couldn’t do this anymore.

With my new job I needed to save as much as I could. It wasn’t right for me to keep “giving away” money in this fashion.

I have to be smarter than this.

This tithing thing is not working.

That’s what I thought. And to be honest, with the way everything was going could you blame me?

The only problem was there was this gnawing in my chest that wouldn’t leave me alone. For lack of a better word I’ll call it a conviction. It was strong…very strong. It went to bed with me, woke up with me, walked with me, and wouldn’t leave.

It REALLY wouldn’t leave me alone.

I prayed about it…it was still there.

I rationalized it away…it didn’t get the memo.

I ignored it…it got worse.

I fought it as much as I could until I read this passage in Scripture:

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart that you should lie to and attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit, and should [in violation of your promise] withdraw secretly and appropriate to your own use part of the price from the sale of the land?'” (Acts 5:3 AMP)

(Yes…those were the sentences that jumped out at me that’s why they’re highlighted.)

Yup! You guessed it! God was dealing with me. Here I thought it was indigestion…nope…it was the Holy Spirit Himself.

Aw Geez!!!

Was I violation of MY promise? Did Satan lie to and deceive me? Did I allow my logic to become greater than God’s Logic (or His Word)?

Crap!!

I think I did!

On 9/22/13 I wrote:

“God really pressed me hard about giving. Was led to Acts 5 Chap 5. Really struggled with it and didn’t want to do it. In the end I gave in. It seems He would not leave me alone regarding it. Surprisingly, I felt real peace in giving it and a real burden was lifted. Will continue to the end of this year.”

Ironically, it was after I got over that hump that’s when the tide began to turn.

How?

We’ll find out in the next installment. :)

Would love to hear you thoughts on this…

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Comments

  1. I am trying this tithing ‘thing’ but because I was unemployed for a long time and only earn a small amount at the moment I haven’t been tithing the correct amount. Last month I got really tight fisted and tithed even less than normal needless to say I feel very guilty or convicted. I need to save every penny(not our currency) but I also want to give from the heart not in the hope of getting something back but that is part of this whole experiment. I am left wondering will this still work in my case and will the tide change for me or must I learn to ‘open my fists’ and give despite my circumstances.

    • Hi Chris,

      I must say that I do appreciate your honest and heartfelt comment. Believe me when I say I know EXACTLY what you’re going through. I know what it is like to “hold on” to everything…and somehow feel smaller in the process. In fact the Bible says it this way: “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” (Proverbs 11:24 MSG) I know what’s its like to feel smaller but I do know what its like to feel larger as well.

      I will suggest this: continue to take God at His Word. If He can save you, surely He can bless, keep, and prosper you.

      One other thing I learned that they multiplication doesn’t come from the tithes…they come from the offerings. It’s when we give over and above the tithe (with a grateful heart) that God can begin to multiply and increase. Remember: He gives seed to the sower…not the hoarder.

      God Bless!

  2. Glad to hear from you. I know tithing works. Several years ago my wife gave birth to our youngest son who was born 3 weeks premature. My wife was real sick the entire pregnancy. She bled constantly during and after the pregnancy. I lost my job two weeks after the baby came home. I had a sick wife who needed major surgery, a sick baby, a car payment, house payment, both cars had major issues, I was losing $1,100 a month on a bad real estate deal. and other financial strains.

    The only money we had coming in for awhile was unemployment. We exhausted all of our savings and retirement accounts to try to stay a float. But, during that whole time we tithe off my unemployment check of $310 a week. Oh yeah, the tax on the unemployment check was $50. So my bring home check was $260. Every week we tithe $31. It seemed impossible that we were going to make it through this financial strain. I knew were going to lose everything. But, I prayed through the fear and trusted God. We kept tithing and God kept working things out.

    He allowed us to be in a position where we had to totally trust Him. It was not easy. There were many times I came close to quitting, but we kept tithing. We endured some very uncomfortable moments, but God was faithful to His Word. It has been over 8 years and we have seen God do some incredible things. We set a major goal to be debt free five years ago when we drowning in debt. To date we are close to seeing that goal become a reality. Even two years ago it looked impossible, but trusting what God says has paid off. I know this is long, but I wanted to share to goodness of God and the benefits of tithing. I found out tithing is not a matter of the wallet, it is a matter of the heart.

  3. This is a story! Standing against what logic tells us the hand and heart of our Father.

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