Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tithing

With Thanksgiving and the Christmas Season approaching I am reminded constantly of all that I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband and all he does to make my life easier. I'm thankful for my cute daughter and how much happiness she brings to my life and the fact that I can stay at home with her. I am pregnant again and in good health. My husband has a good job which is something to be very thankful for during these scary economic times. We are in the process of buying a house. In short, I have a lot to be thankful for. Part of being thankful is having and showing gratitude to the person who is responsible for all of my blessings. In the scriptures, God asks us to give 10 percent of our income to the Church to help the poor, widows and furthering His work on the earth. I know that all good things come from God and as a way to thank Him for all he has done for me and my family we pay tithing.

I consider giving tithes to be the first rule of good finances. When setting up a budget it is very easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of things claiming a piece of the pie and think that there isn't money left for tithing.  The Bible mentions giving your 'first fruits' over 20 times. So by making tithing the first line on our budget helps remind us to keep God first in our lives and lets us acknowledge him for all that he has given us. A quote I love from Dave Ramsey is "If you cannot live off 90% of your income, then you cannot live off 100%. It does not require a miracle for you to get through the month. I think that if you sit down and look at your budget, you will see that you can make it while giving at least 10%."


Who We Are is Reflected in How We Use Our Money
God doesn't need our tithing. The law of tithing is more for our benefit and what we can learn from giving willingly. Dave Ramsey also said that "giving reminds us that the world does not revolve around us and that no matter what our financial status is, someone is in a much worse situation."

In chapter 4 of Financial Peace Revisited, Dave Ramsey speaks to the spiritual aspects of money saying "Personal Finance is who you are. The personal, philosophical, and emotional problems and strengths that you have will be reflected in your use of money. If you are very disciplined, you can be a good saver of money. If you are very selfish or self-centered, you will surround yourself with expensive toys that you cannot afford." Giving teaches us how to be unselfish people. "Unselfish people make better husbands, wives, friends, relatives, employees, and employers. God is trying to teach us how to prosper over time."

I think this is what we are all aiming for in ourselves and for our children. We want to encourage them to develop good habits and traits and to be good people. When we give, we learn to be selfless and aware of other people. When we manage our money responsibly, we learn self-confidence and independence. 

God makes this promise to us about paying our tithing in the Old Testament.

Malachi 3:10 (King James Version)
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Your blessings may not always come in the form of a bigger income and more wealth. It can come in the form of your money being able to stretch farther. Like getting really good deals on things that you need. Your family not being sick as much as usual, thereby reducing medical bills, or your car not breaking down. Or just learning the ability to manage your money so that you know how to provide for what you need.
I hope all of us will be able to see and appreciate all that we have been blessed with as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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