Show Me The Money
by Ryan Duncan
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 room enough for it. - Malachi 3:10
Like many younger Christians, I have never been very good at tithing. Sure, I try to be generous, but I am never very consistent in my giving. Once in a while I’ll write a check for a good cause, support the occasional mission trip, but when it comes to the genuine, 10-percent of my labors tithes; I usually just give whatever happens to be in my wallet. There are a lot of excuses for my miserly behavior, but in all honesty, I think the real reason I didn’t tithe was because I just didn’t believe it was that important. Then I learned about Todd Stiefel.
Todd Stiefel is one of the major forces behind the modern atheist movement. His organization, the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, is behind the majority of atheist campaigns like flashy billboards, high-profile rallies, and other news-making efforts. According to CNN, Stiefel has poured over 3.5 million dollars of his own fortune into these projects. When asked why he would give so much to help fund these endeavors, Stiefel responded,
“I wanted to try to help the world. I wanted to give back and this seemed like the most productive way to help humanity.”
I can remember feeling very cold when I read that. Here was a man who did not believe in God. Here was a man who believed, fervently, that best way to help humanity was through the erosion of my faith. Worst of all, here was a man better at freely giving to what he believed in than I had ever been in all my years as a Christian. God had commanded me to give cheerfully, and my generosity was being upstaged by an atheist.
All dramatics aside, I think it’s important for us Christians to understand that tithing is a vital part of our faith. It teaches us not to put our faith in financial gain, it helps the Church support its leaders, and I think the act of giving helps us remain humble before God. He did not instruct tithing to rob us of our wealth; he commanded it so that the Church could provide for one another in times of need. Remember the words of Proverbs 11:24,
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
Intersecting Faith and Life: Take a moment to review your spending habits. Are you giving the Lord what is already his?
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