When conversations turn to money, especially in Christian circles, a palpable unease often fills the room. In some cases, this is understandable. There are many charlatans posing as Christians whose sole objective is to exploit the generosity of trusting and unsuspecting individuals for financial gain.
But often, our hesitation about money stems from something deeper. Many people live their lives divorcing the “business side” from the “spiritual side.” But these separations do not exist in the Bible. God has much to say about money, offering what one might term as the best biblical money practices.
Biblical Money Practices
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, God provides clear guidelines for financial conduct. These include:
- Earn Your Money Ethically: Conduct your financial affairs honestly, avoiding dishonest dealings and backdoor transactions.
- Spend Your Money Wisely: Exercise wisdom and discernment in your spending, ensuring responsible stewardship of resources.
- Be Good to the Poor: Display compassion and generosity toward those in need, reflecting God’s heart for justice and mercy.
- Tithe 10% of Your Income: A tithe is a commitment to give back to God a portion of what He has blessed you with. This practice is a tangible expression of gratitude and trust.
The Israelites experienced immense financial and spiritual blessings when they adhered to these principles. However, as the days of Malachi unfolded, they veered off course, becoming lethargic, lavish, and careless in their financial practices.
Some people began neglecting the tithe, making excuses like, “I’m in debt, and something’s got to give.” The people reasoned that God, being a God of grace, would not be concerned with legalistic tithing. Sound familiar?
Malachi’s response was sharp and direct. Certainly, you wouldn’t steal from your friends or neighbors, would you? Breaking into their house and taking what isn’t yours is not something you’d consider, right? “Then why are you robbing God?” (Malachi 3:8-12)
Tithing as a Spiritual Discipline
God offers us His utmost, and all He requests in return is a modest 10% of what He initially bestows upon us.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, tithing is not a strategy to fill church coffers. It is a way to help the church reach out to a dark world and help those in need. But it is also a spiritual discipline intended for personal growth. Here’s why:
- Heart Check: Tithing reveals your true priorities. It’s a litmus test of where your heart truly lies — whether with God or with material wealth. Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:21)
There is no divide between the business world and the spiritual world. The business world is the testing ground of what we say we believe in the church. Tithing is not about enriching the church. It’s about your heart before God. If you say you love God, the commandment to tithe may be the thing that calls your bluff.
- Gut Check: Tithing demands resolve and practical action. It requires you to sit down, evaluate your finances, commit a specific percentage to God, and make it happen.
If you need help with the practical steps, Dream City Church provides tools through an app for those seeking assistance.
- Faith Check: Tithing requires faith. It’s a step into the unknown, trusting that God will honor your obedience and abundantly bless your life. The act of giving financially can be intimidating. It requires a leap of faith to trust and obey God.
The fundamental question is, do you believe in God’s unwavering care for His people? Contrary to the fear of losing money, honoring God is a test of your belief — do you have the conviction to put this trust to the test?
Tithing is not a burden but a pathway to spiritual health, offering a heart check, a gut check, and a faith check. It’s a tangible way of expressing our trust in God’s provision and acknowledging His lordship over every aspect of our lives. So, will you step out in faith, trusting that God will honor your commitment to financial excellence?
The above is an abbreviated version of the message that Pastor Luke originally preached on October 1, 2023. We invite you to join us for Sunday Service at Dream City Church each week to hear Pastor Luke and other speakers in person. You can also stream our services online here. If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with someone who might need to hear this powerful message!