Tithing (giving 10 per cent of our income to the church) is not a strict requirement of the Catholic Church – which is something most of us Catholics are happy about (try not to giggle here). In fact, studies show that globally, Catholics give only about 1 of their salaries to the Church and its charities. In Trinidad & Tobago, we are jokingly referred to as the red dollar church, since many of us only put $1 every week in the collection baskets. However, by not being very generous towards our Church, many of us may be inadvertently missing out on huge blessings.
God’s promises to those who tithe
In the final book of the Old Testament, Malachi, God revealed two huge promises that are attached to tithing and asks us to test Him:
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And test Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts
Promise #1: Open the Windows of Heaven: God promises to open up the windows of Heaven and pour so many blessings upon us that it will actually become a problem for us to figure out what to do with it.
Promise #2: Rebuke the Devourer: Our finances are often drained off by all sorts of things beyond our control that rise up and eat away at our finances, such as a pay cut, an unexpected job loss, an increase in rent or some unexpected expense. That’s the work of the devourer, the enemy of our souls who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). God promises that if we tithe, He will step in and actively rebuke the devourer on our behalf. In the midst of this pandemic, the devourer is ravaging the finances of many people among us. Now is therefore the perfect time to seek divine protection from God by tithing.
“Come and hear, all you who fear God, while I recount what has been done for me” Psalm 66:16.
After reading the generosity chapter of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly, I felt challenged to be more generous with the Church and its charities. Between January and December last year, I gradually increased my giving to the church from 1 per cent to 10 per cent of my salary. Since then, I have had far more financial peace than I had when I was only giving 1 per cent to the Church. I have even come up with a new business idea that may prove to be successful and I have a firm belief that God will provide me with divine protection from financial distress.
My challenge for you
1. Put God to the test: This pandemic has taught us that we cannot depend on our economy, our careers, our employers, our landlords or anything besides God. Put all your faith in God and His promises to those who tithe and increase your donations to the Church and its charities by a small amount every month, until you reach the point where you are giving full 10 per cent of your salary.
2. Watch God move on your behalf: Sit back and see how God will pour blessings into your life and rebuke the devourer for you.
3. Give your testimony: Every test should lead to a testimony. Share your story of giving with others so they will be encouraged to trust God and His promises too.
Remember this: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7.