I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. —Joel 2:25
Perhaps you feel you cannot tithe at the moment, but the ability to handle money (when you give God all of His) may be a gift you are given that you weren't expecting to have. It is just like Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fish; it doesn't have a natural explanation. It doesn't add up that 90 percent can go as far as 100 percent.
I will never forget one day coming home shortly after Louise and I were married. God had hidden His face from me for days and weeks. I hadn't made any sales. I thought, Will I ever get to be in ministry? Whatever happened to those visions that God was going to use me? I walked over to a Bible my Grandmother Curley had given me, and, I promise you, my eyes fell right on these words: "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings" (Mal. 3:8). I abruptly closed that Bible, walked over, and turned on the television that we still owed for, and I thought, I certainly didn't want a word like that.
Perhaps you feel this way at the moment.
But you know what happened? As a result of not tithing because I was paying my bills, I owed more a year later than I did when I made the decision not to tithe. And a year after that, I owed more. One day I said, "I will start tithing now!" In eighteen months, we were out of debt.
Tithing is a part of worshiping God. Abraham was the first tither. That's in the Old Testament. But look at what the New Testament says: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously" (2 Cor. 9:6).
You should not give necessarily because a church needs it, although sometimes that is the case, but you should give because it is the right thing to do.
Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).