Tithing testimony

 Some times, I wish I had one of those life changing stories to tell everyone. You know those ones where a person begins to trust God, tithe, or even finds the exact amount of money they need for something and then everything falls into place. Well, I don't have a story like that. I have come to realize that it is okay and my story is just as important.

Everyone has a story and it is just as important as the next person's. YOU have a story. Whatever it is, tell it.

Here is one of my stories. Ever since I was young, I knew the importance of tithing to the church. When I babysat in high school, I would give a few dollars on Sunday morning. When I got a steady job, it was always ten percent and I never made it an option. It is the same, even today. My husband and I have always given at least ten percent to the church, it is the first thing on our budget list and the first item taken off his check. It may not seem significant, but as I look back, I see how God blessed us because we were faithful.

I know there are people who feel like they do not have enough to pay the bills, been there, so tithing is the first thing to go, if it was even there to begin with. We know what it feels like to not be bringing in enough money to pay everything. We know what it feels like to not have an income for a few months. In our six years of marriage, my husband and I have gone through many trials and one of those is money. I feel passionate about budgeting and money because it is something we all have to handle and it can cause a lot of stress in your life. If you want to see how we budget and save throughout the year for certain things, read my other post here.

Even though we have had times with little money, we still made sure to give ten percent back to the church. This is not about how churches need more money. Do I believe you should show financial support to your church because you believe in them and are a part of the body? Yes, of course I do. But, I also believe that tithing is not about the church or where your money is going. It is about the relationship you have with Christ and how you stay faithful and give back to Him.

Back to my story. A couple years ago, we were in a transition (I know, story of my life) and we did not have an income going into the new year. I distinctly remember that Christmas because we truly felt we did not have enough money to buy Christmas gifts for everyone. My husband found a job that January, then we moved out of a parsonage to an apartment, so we now had rent to pay. Then he found another job that would give a few more hours and more income. All of this while trying to plant a church. Have I ever mentioned how amazing my husband is? Our daughter was about 7 months, so I stayed home with her because it wouldn't benefit us for me to get a job and pay for childcare. At the end of the summer we realized we were not bringing in enough money to pay all our monthly expenses without using some of our savings. My wonderful husband then set out to find a different job that would meet the needs. We knew how much he had to be paid per hour in order to have just enough. He knew the manager at Discount Tire and asked about a job, the manager told him what he would be starting at and it was the exact amount we needed.

Throughout this whole time, it never crossed our minds to not tithe. Even though we were planting a church and part of another smaller organic church, we still gave the full ten percent. We could have easily said that since we were our own church we didn't need to give or make any excuse not to. We didn't. It has always been a part of what we do and how we spend our money. That year I described above, I think overall we brought in between nineteen and twenty thousand total. That is not very much for a family of three, soon to be four at the time. Our rent was $840/month. I'm sure you can do the math and find out that there was not much left to live on. About half of our income went to rent and utilities.

I truly believe that because we were faithful to God through all of it, He was faithful to us and helped us get through the year. I honestly don't know how else we would have made it through. We were blessed with some extra money during that time and the timing couldn't have been any more perfect. It was what we needed at the right time. I tell you this to show how a small priority in your life can change how you live and grow in Christ. We have always given to the church, no matter where we are or where we go. Currently, we are in yet another transition and do not have a "home" church. Does that mean we are not giving ten percent of our money back to God? No. Whatever church we are at on Sunday receives our tithe.

Here is my challenge. I'm sure if you attend a church, you have heard this before from a pastor or someone else, but maybe there is a reason we all say it. It takes twenty-one days to form a habit. Make a habit of tithing to your church. See what happens. I would love to hear if you try it! Commit twenty-one paychecks, where you take ten percent each time and give it back to God. If you don't believe me, find someone else with a story. Do you trust God with your finances? I don't have everything in order and all perfect either. But I am confident that we do the right thing by always tithing, no matter the circumstances, the transition, the church, or the income.

My other challenge is to tell your story. I know I have said it before, and will say it again. We all have stories, so tell yours, no matter what it is, you may be able to help someone else by sharing your story.