Jesus doesn’t want your tithe … He wants your heart. “Great!” you say, “I think money is unspiritual anyhow, so obviously God, who is spirit, has no use for it. And I am relieved that I get to keep more of my hard-earned pay.”
God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the Cadillacs in a thousand driveways. Everything in existence is His, not by right of possession only (it does exist inside His universe), but also by right of creation. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:3). If Jesus wants something, he certainly could create it—like the fish and bread given to thousands. Obviously God has no need for my stash o’ cash.
Well, not so fast. God wants your heart, but that means more than sending “positive thoughts” His way; it means action. The tithe is not what God is seeking, but it is a vehicle that ushers in a submissive heart before Him.
We engage with money when filling our tank with gasoline, buying a hot latte, paying electric bills, buying foodstuffs, determining tips for waitstaff, supporting government through taxes, working for ourselves or for others, budgeting and stewarding resources, investing for future gains, and so much more. You see, money is an inextricable part of our human experience. We use it, with the danger of it using us. A contemporary philosopher has been quoted as saying, “I got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind.” Our thoughts linger on dreams of multimillion-dollar windfalls from lucky numbers on the next lotto go-round. What comes from this? Thoughts of new cars, vacation homes, luxury travel, a greater dependence upon God? Okay, the last one seems out of place, doesn’t it?
Because of money’s prominent role in our lives, it has power. Seductive power. “Follow me and I will give you whatever you desire! A little more, a little better, a little newer—you deserve nice things! Life will be more satisfying when you’re able to savor all the good gifts I can bring you. Did you think of me today, how we could spend just a little bit more time … together?” The siren song of money has led many to their destruction. Yet, money is simply a tool, wielded by the hand but directed by the heart.
God in His infinite wisdom and magnificent grace has set before us a pathway with sure footing. He knows us; He knows our weaknesses. He knows that money makes either an obedient servant or a tyrannical master. His generous commandment to you to give 10 percent of your income back to Him, off the top, before any expenses, declares your allegiance. It places money in subservience and clears the way for deepening relationship with the Almighty.
Do you honor Him from whom ALL blessings flow? Do you trust Him … with ALL things?