My first year results with tithing: a personal case study

My case study

I was hesitant to write this post.

Why?

It’s not something you read or hear. The fact is, when most people give their testimonies about tithing it’s usually with an instantaneous and positive ending. Most ministries tell how the person who gave received a 400% increase in a matter of months.

Last year…that was NOT the case with me.

 Preface

On a Sunday in November of 2012 I asked God what would I need to do to get out of the financial rut I was in. I said,

“Lord, I love you but I am in a rut and I don’t know what to do to get out. What is it?”

And the idea popped into my mind: start tithing. I felt this assurance that was what I needed to do. So I decided that 2013 would be the year to do my tithing experiment. I made a promise that no matter what happened I would keep tithing.

With this experiment I decided to document my giving and and significant experiences in the year. That way I would be able to share my “successes” with those following. That way when when TBN or CBN decided to broadcast my riveting story (cause God was obviously going to miraculously prosper me instantaneously) I could be honest with the audience.

Leather Binder Book

 

So in that leather bound book I documented any significant events

Important Dates

 

and my tithing schedule.

Tithing Schedule

This was my way of keeping my giving organized for tax purposes.

Again: this is my HONEST viewpoint of what took place during my tithing experiment. Some may love it, some may hate, but all will be able to learn from it.

Alright, so let’s dig in!

The First 4 Months–January through April

January

The first month of my tithing experiment was good. I was an account executive at an IT company and it was my 3rd month there. In that 3rd month on January 13th to be exact I made my first sale. I was astonished! It was a good sized sale too! And with the extra money I made the wise decision to pay off a credit card that I had owed for years. It felt great!

In my mind, I had it all mapped out: work hard, sell, make money, pay off all debts, and be debt free before the year was out. It was simple. Wow! This tithing thing really works!

February

Things at the job were starting to change…not for the better. My job consisted of cold-calling hundreds of businesses in the NYC area to set up appointments to sell IT services. Even though I was working hard I was not seeing as much appointments and my pipeline was not as full. So on February 23rd I was given my first disciplinary letter–saying that I had better increase my activity and results or I’d be gone.

“Uh…Lord what’s going on here??!!”

March

I realized early on the cold calling was not my thing. I also realized that the company had MAJOR issues in marketing. So since I was little more experienced with internet marketing I decided I would try to help. What I did I don’t regret but I don’t suggest anyone else do it.

What did I do?

On my free time I wrote and published articles in many small business blogs on behalf of the company. My thinking was to drive more traffic, drive more warm leads, increase our SEO, and make us look a little more legit online.

I put my heart and soul in those articles and my by late February I was generating a lot of positive buzz. One sales manager from a similar firm in Texas called me to let me know how much he enjoyed the articles.

It was here that things came to a head at my job.

The sales manager and CEO decided to have a word with me (the company was small–we worked in a two room office). They asked why I did what I did. I told them why:

  • The company really needed more marketing exposure.
  • I didn’t think we had the money for a marketing director  which is why I did it for free.
  • When we cold called people they could see that we’re a tad different from the competition, resulting in better conversions.

They agreed.

But, per the CEO he wishes I had come to him sooner because he saw these issues and hired a marketing director.

Drat! (Personally, I believe he was full of crap but I wasn’t about to tell him that)

But they thanked me for my initiative  and said anything other marketing initiatives should be fielded by them. I agreed.

Everything went more smoothly from there. I was even asked my opinion on some more marketing initiatives they were spear heading. It seemed like God was favoring me more.

Then on March 10th I took sick with viral meningitis and was hospitalized. Which was not fun. :(

Then on March 29th I was given another form to sign. In my own words:

“Had meeting with manager, told to sign form, look like going to terminated, and ironically don’t have enough money to pay full rent.”

Things were not looking good.

April

In my life I’ve had this weakness of quitting. When things got too hard, I’d quit. If things were getting better my fear of success would creep up, I’d slow down, and end up quitting. I was at this point in my life where I was tired of quitting. I’d like to say that I came to that conclusion…but then…I’d be lying. I believe this attitude of going on no matter what came from God. For instance Paul said,

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” (Galatians 5:22-23 MSG)

That “willingness to stick with things” is the reason I kept going. Even though I felt the guillotine over my neck I decided I was going to give my all and trust God with the results. That means if they needed me to do 5 things I would do 10. If they needed me to call 50 people I was going to call a 100.

I believed that if God wanted to He could make a way out of no way.

Call it brave or stupid (my wife called it stupid) I was just tired of quitting when things got tough.

Nevertheless, on the fateful day of April 12th I was fired!

This is the main reason I don’t believe in a 90 day tithing experiment. In case you’re wondering what that it is…it’s when a church says, “Try tithing for 90 days and if the windows of heaven don’t fly open we’ll refund your money.” If I tried this experiment, I would be the first one asking for a refund!

I was calm but devastated. I didn’t even know what to think. All I knew was: I was tired. But don’t worry I’ll tell you what happened next in the next installment.

I would loooove to hear your thoughts on this…

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Comments

  1. Great story. I can’t wait to read the rest. This happened to me a few years ago. I was let go from a job that I worked for 12 1/2 years and had done a lot of things to position them for success. I had been tithing for several years, but I was really tested with tithing after losing that job. My wife was at home sick and our baby had just came home from the hospital after spending two months there because he was premature. We had a ton of bills to pay. I kept tithing on my unemployment check. It looked crazy, but we saw the faithfulness of God during that time. Everything did not magically happen in 30, 60 or 90 days. It has taken years to overcome some of the financial issues, but we are getting there. But, the greatest thing I saw was faithfulness of God daily. Just like he did with the Children of Israel, he provided fresh Manna daily. It has been 8 years and he is still faithful to his word and we have not stop tithing. In due season you shall reap if you faint not. Due season does not have a date, but an assurance.

  2. Marsha Coye says:

    I am patiently waiting for the “to be continued…” piece. Very interesting piece. I believe (and this is merely the opinion of Marsha), we have taken the scriptures in Malachi too literally. I believe that as believers, we are always so “deep” that we miss the simplicity that word brings. We want to hear the voice of God in Hebrew and and speaking tongues when God speaks to us in plain old English. In reference to tithing, I have seen the light that God teaches us not to walk as fools but with good old common sense. I absolutely believe that if your current situation does not allow you to give “1/10″, God will not overlook your blessings because you decided to keep the lights on or you decided to put gas in the car to get to service and Bible study.

  3. Oh man! Talk about leaving us hanging! I’m looking forward to your story. And for the record I love the attitude. It really is all about attitude that comes from our perspective… the one we share with our Father.

  4. Oh man – can’t wait to read the next installment. I love that you’re giving us an honest account of your tithing experience. A lot of times it seems like it’s some sort of miraculous 400% return like you said, but really that’s not always the case. That’s not how God operates. I mean, sometimes He does. But usually He gives us so much more. This last year has been super tough of me financially but God has taught me a lot about trusting in Him, being generous, and learning about grace. It’s been overwhelming!

    I love what Bernard said above – Due season doesn’t have a date, but an assurance. Word. Praise God for manna.

  5. If all our prayers received answers like Zippo magic, the blessings of tithing would occur the same way. Here a little there a little. I believe a tither should also be wise in all their purchases and living expenses. Being blessed does not mean now its time to buy the biggest car, house or go on a cruise – - – (although God might lead in that direction) Keep me posted as I also want to hear the next chapter in this saga.

    We had a million dollar home, then my husband got sick and could no longer work, so we sold our home paid our bills and moved to a mobile home. We continued our giving, and God blessed me with a job. There are times when life hurts, but God is good regardless.

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul, and am anxiously waiting for the next episode!

  7. Christopher says:

    I’m South African and often very skeptical about the average American’s view on Christianity it seems quick fix orientated and shallow as poverty and unemployment are rife in this country. You don’t have to travel far to find shack dwelers and slums.I nevertheless find your article very interesting and can’t wait for the second one

  8. Great story! May I request a full copy of your testimony and can I post it on my Facebook account. I’m sure it will bless a lot of people.

    God is indeed faithful.

    Thank you.

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      That would be great!!! I only ask that you link it back to the original source. I do pray that it would touch a lot of people.

      Be blessed!

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