Monday, September 20, 2010
God & Money
If you are still on my blog page, and the title didn't scare you away, then I congratulate you. Normally when we hear those two words together, we clinch on to our purses (wallets) like an old lady that's about to get mugged. This blog is not about tithing or should I say YOU tithing. I'm not going to go there with you...O.K. maybe just for a second. I'm only going to say that we all should tithe. Malachi 3:10, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says the Lord almighty and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it." God asks us to test him in this one area and He only requests that we give Him 10%. Where is your 10% going if not to God? God promises to multiply your givings to the point of overflowing!! Think of it as an investment. You are investing your money into God's kingdom, and in return he will give you your money back plus 100% interest! This blog is about what we "teach our children" about tithing and our money. It seems as though these days our "giving" or our money, goes along with the same cliche topics as religion and politics. Everybody wants money, but nobody wants to talk about money when it pertains to God. The topic of money has been on my mind lately. I haven't always been the best person to give advice on tithing or money for that matter. I remember a time, when I would be sitting in the pew at church, and as soon as the preacher said it was time to pick up the tithe, I would immediately get up and take a bathroom break. I was embarassed (more like convicted) that I was not giving. I was a fool for thinking God could not see me running into the bathroom, waiting a few minutes until the time passed, and it was safe to go back into the sanctuary. The only thing I used the tithe envelope for was to scribble notes from the sermon on. I wonder, what was I teaching my kids? When the subject of money comes up around our house, it's usually in the form of a durogatory comment. We have always discussed our bills and income away from our kids. We deal with that area privately so not to leak out too much information that they really don't need to be bothered with. On the other hand, we are saying things around them, that might be doing more harm than good... "NO! We are broke this week." "Ooh. It's going to be a tight week." "We don't have the money." "Do you think money grows on trees? It takes every bit of our hard work to survive!" 'We're not rich!" Yep...I have said all of these, and probably just last week. But, what am I teaching my kids about money, faith and God? By speaking this way...am I closing the door to God's promises on my life? Am I turning the lid tightly and closing the jar to my own financial fate? Yes! I'm speaking straight to my wallet and telling it that it's going to be empty and stay that way. In Proverbs 18:21 it says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Am I speaking life into my finances? Or death? Am I teaching my kids that my present circumstance determines my future when God teaches me otherwise? Phillippians 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Am I teaching my kids faith or doubt? Faith is the evidence of things not seen!! What am I teaching them about what "rich" means? Is it having material wealth? Or is it being of great worth, quality, or character? I am rich because of my relationship with Jesus Christ. What am I teaching them about hard work? Am I teaching them that if you work hard you will barely get by? Or am I teaching them that if you are diligent in your hard work, that it will not go unrewarded or unseen by God. I want them to know their richness in Jesus! I want them to know God rewards hard work! I'm not saying to pretend that you have imaginary money and spend it as though you do. That would be irresponsible and God wants us to be wise with our money and His. Proverbs 12:11, "He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment." I'm telling you to expect something miraculous! It's about knowing that God will provide through your faithfulness! With my negative words, I'm teaching my kids that God isn't big enough to change things around. I'm teaching them that the Giver is all gived-out. I'm teaching them disbelief. God promises blessing for our obedience! That is what I want to teach them. Deuteronomy 28:12 says, "The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but will borrow from none." That's what I want my kids to know! That we serve a God of provision!! God...forgive my doubt. Help me to teach my children to give to you in abundance, whether that be through tithe, thankfulness, faith, obedience or hard work. Remind me each day that no matter what this world gives me, you are where my "richness" lies. As long as I stand on your word and your promise...I will never do without. John 6:35, Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."