OK, God, I’m tithing. Now, where is my freaking blessing?
Come on, people, that’s funny. But in all seriousness, the Bible says this crazy thing about money. It says that God calls us to tithe and not only to give away 10% of our money but to test him in this, and he will pour out many blessings.
“Bring the whole tithe in 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 there not be room enough to store it.” - Malachi 3:8-10
So what happens when you are faithfully tithing, but you aren’t getting blessings? And instead, it seems like bad things keep happening to you? Well, if that’s you, I can only say one thing, welcome to the club.
I feel like I’m a perpetual magnet for money problems and bad decisions. OK, I can’t blame the bad money decisions on God. Doug and I were the ones who choose a very crappy interest-only mortgage loan—that was bad. We bought a stupid timeshare—don’t do it. We bought a house we couldn’t afford then found out later it had major plumbing issues. Literally, crap hit the fan. God didn’t rack up over 60K in credit card debt. Doug and I did that all by ourselves. So I will admit that some or maybe all of our money problems were brought on by ourselves. But since we have been tithing for over five years, I was hoping to see some major blessings happen, including all of our debt paid off.
Over and over again, I keep hearing stories of someone tithing for the first time, and within 24 hours, they received a huge financial blessing like a free vacation or a significant bonus. And in five years since I started tithing, I have received none of that. Instead, the money we tithe hurts our finances. I know I shouldn’t look at it this way, but it’s hard not to when we are struggling to pay bills, or our bank account is at $1.60, and we are just praying to get to the next pay period. But through the struggles, we keep tithing, hoping that eventually, we will get a huge blessing from God.
Don’t get me wrong—we have been blessed. For example, every Christmas, Doug and I receive an anonymous letter with a $120 gift certificate to Walmart. Doug’s sister gave us her car when it was no longer being used, and despite the fact it’s old with dents, it was a blessing not to have bought a second car. Last year we had the blessing of friends paying for our kids’ year-round swimming. And, it was a blessing that we finally got rid of our timeshare, even though we sunk lots and lots of money into getting rid of it, but praise God, it’s gone.
So I guess my complaint to God is my blessings aren’t good enough. I was hoping that He would drop down a pile of cash on me or gift me an all-expense-paid trip to Disney, and because he didn’t deliver, I didn’t get blessed. Wow, what a selfish person I am. Who am I to say what blessing from God is more important, and who am I to be pissed that my blessing from God isn’t good enough?
So, I’ve been thinking. Maybe, just maybe, instead of praying God to bless me with a pile of cash, I should pray God changes my heart to be a grateful one. Maybe I should thank God for the small blessings He has given me and hope that with each small blessing, he will trust me with a little bit bigger one. Maybe God continues to test my heart, and I continue to fail because I’m not a happy tither but a pissed off one who does it out of obligation. Maybe I should shut up and thank God for everything He has gifted me.
So today, I’m going to be grateful instead of resentful. I’m going to be grateful for the gifts God continues to give me despite my attitude. I’m going to thank God for my career, my home, and my car every day. And even when times are hard, like today, when I had to pay for groceries using quarters, I’m going to thank God for those quarters. I’m going to choose to trust God.
God, I’m sorry.