Controversial Christianity – Tithers Don’t Experience Lack



As I contemplated this post for our Controversial Christianity series, I was reminded of a time when a dear friend was walking through a voracious financial valley. Her and her husband were going under and there was no end in site.


It was during that time when I heard a maybe not-so-well-meaning friend pipe into a conversation about their circumstances with the statement, “They’re most likely not tithing or they wouldn’t be going through this.”


Really? Is that what the Bible really says about tithing? Does it say that those who tithe don’t experience financial difficulty? Or have we somehow sunk our spiritual teeth into something that isn’t completely true?


We’ve all watched faithful people go through life’s wringer. Men and women who are devoted to God, yet they seem to experience financial hardship month after month and year after year.


And then some well-meaning brother in Christ would come along and say something like my not-so-well-meaning friend. The truth was that my precious friend who was going through such a difficult financial season was giving above the tithe.


So, let’s look at the Word and see whether it is fact or fiction that tithers never suffer need.


BELIEF: If we tithe, we will not go through financial seasons of lack.


Truth:

  • Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try 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;” Malachi 3:10-11
  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” Matthew 23:23
  •  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christa]”>[a] who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
  • We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;” 2 Corinthians 6:3-5
  • But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always being delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11
It may be debated, but the controversy we’re dealing with today is not whether or not tithing is New Testament, but is tithing like a magical ticket to comfortable and convenient Christianity? Do tithers get a ‘Get Out of Financial Jail” free card?

Those who tithe are given promises of blessings, it’s true. But those blessings aren’t always manifested in a fat financial portfolio. 

Only a brief look in the rearview mirror of Christianity will help us understand that what Jesus said, is true. “In this world, you will have tribulation…”

It doesn’t say that we will have tribulation unless we tithe. 

We have stepped into the luke warm water of casual Christianity and confused God’s promises with our expectations.

Today, you may be struggling financially and you’re wondering why God hasn’t ‘rebuked the devourer.’ He has.

He has rebuked the devourer of your health, the devourer of your marriage, the devourer of your children’s purity, the devourer of your home, the devourer of your job, the devourer of your peace, the devourer of your joy, the devourer of your character and the devourer of your testimony.


Sweet friend, please don’t allow what you’ve always heard to skew your biblical view of truth. Our God is good even if your financial situation is bad. 

Look at those who faithfully served God before us. Pull back the curtain on the martyrs who suffered the loss of their homes, their families, their lives and their limbs. Devout Christians who suffered lack and loss we can’t even begin to understand.

Tithing doesn’t make us immune to financial problems. It just demonstrates faith, obedience and love for our Savior for all He has done for us.

He loves you regardless of whether you are faithful or not. He does bless obedience and faith. Yes. But, if you’re being obedient in the area of your finances and you still feel like you’re getting the financial shaft, look at the umpteen areas in your life where He is rebuking the devourer and begin praising your God.

Have you ever thought that God will not allow you to suffer lack? Have you ever been taught that?

14 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this Stephanie. My husband and I are financial counselors, we don't do credit cards or spend what we don't have AND we tithe faithfully; yet we are currently experiencing financial problems (due to becming a one income family in the past year).I stand firm on His word knowing that He is our provider and that this season of our lives will pass. Your wordsremind me to continue to be faithful and obedient. Thank you!

  2. Madalyn,

    What a great real life illustration of biblical truth. God's greatest promise to His children is His presence. Through every storm, He is with us and I love how you said you stand firm, knowing He is your Provider…and that this season will pass.

    Just keep on keeping on for Jesus! Praying for you!

  3. Loving these truths sister! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. Hi Cindy,

    Thanks so much for your constant love! Big blessings to you to! 🙂

  5. Doesn't God say the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike… just because we tithe doesn't mean that we are exempt from the rain!

    Here is what I do know from personal experience… God wants our hearts! He wants our complete trust! He wants our complete faith! He wants our complete obedience!

    When my world crashed 3 years ago, my husband left me in the middle of a house foreclosure and bankruptcy, with three children, an older vehicle that was breaking down, not a penny to my name, no money to pay my bills or purchase food and working a part-time job that I had just started.

    But from the moment I fell to my knees and completely surrendered to God, He has taken care of me and my children “Immesurably more than all we could ask or imagine!!” (Ephesians 3:20-21a)

    I have tithed faithfully… even when the bills were due and I had so little to give. It has not been easy… I am still struggling, but God has been so faithful! He has promised to “supply all our needs” (not wants, but needs) and every single month, there is plenty of food on the table, we have an incredible place to live, we now have 2 working cars and getting ready to purchase a third and God is working out the details for an amazing opportunity… not to mention He has given me the joy of my life: a baby (from a brief reconciliation period).

    Sometimes I think God allows us the struggle even when we tithe for a few reasons. 1. So that we will continue to trust and rely completely on Him and not the things of this world. 2. To show our obedience to Him… if we can be trusted in the storm and with little, then we can be trusted when the sun is shining brightly and there is plenty. 3. To teach us patience. He doesn't promise that “blessings” will be immediate nor does He promise they will all be tangible.

    Honestly… when I think about the way we live here in America compared to so many in other parts of the world, it shames me. We as Christians should be willing to downsize, live on so much less anyway, and be the hands and feet of Jesus to others who have it so much more difficult. If we would live below our means from the beginning, tithe faithfully from our hearts because we want to and because we are expecting something in return… we might see God move in amazing ways!

    Just my thoughts!

    Thanks for a great post and for speaking the truth! 😉

  6. **Oops… sorry for the error. In that last paragraph it SHOULD state “… and NOT because we are expecting something in return…”.

    Very critical error there!! haha 🙂

  7. Hi Tara,

    I popped over to your site and realized I had been there before. I love the way you write!

    As a missionary, I totally agree with your thoughts about our comfortable and convenient American Christianity. We have turned many of our blessings into idols and excuses.

    I'm so thankful for the long-suffering of the Lord!

    Thank you so much for popping in and commenting! I look forward to hearing more from you. 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for this encouraging post. We're struggling so much financially, and we give above and beyond our tithe. The more we struggle, the more people ask if we tithe. It's so frustrating, I've quit sharing how dire our circumstances really are.

    We live on so little anyway that talks of downsizing is depressing. Our house, which we LOVE, is less than 1200 sq ft. and is over 100 years old. We sold our only vehicle to keep the roof over our heads. We don't have TV, only one basic cell phone. We now walk almost everywhere – thanking God that we live close enough to grocery stores to walk.

    But I get so tired. So weary of always battling for every single thing.

  9. My husband retired and just started on Medicare. I'm the only one bringing in a pay check. I stand on God's promise that He's with us in all situations. Blessings to you Stephanie,
    Janet

  10. Anonymous,

    Your precious life is an example of how godly people go through tough times and how your testimony to stay faithful in the midst of it all inspires others to do so.

    Those who are questioning your faithfulness to tithe are those who have never had to walk where you are. But if they ever do, they will remember the footprints of faithfulness you left for them to follow.

    When we bottom line life, all that matters is that we live for Jesus no matter what. You are doing just that and I want to thank you for sharing your testimony here.

    Please know that I'm praying for you now and I look forward to hearing how the Lord shows Himself strong on your behalf.

    Blessings to you and a big hug from my heart to yours! 🙂

  11. Janet,

    Thank you for sharing that. It's SO hard for a couple to make it on one salary, yet I'm so blessed by your faithfulness in the midst of it all.

    Praying for you, sweet friend! 🙂

  12. I love God with all my heart. I once belonged to a megachurch that said unless you tithed, you'd probably not make it to Heaven. My husband was a member of the ministry team that traveled all over the world with this pastor turned televangelist. I sacrificed all. Until one day, I asked myself, do I pay my tithe or do I feed my kids? Guess what? God sent me to the grocery store.

    God knows our hearts. He gave me a brain to think for myself. Giving money to a family in need, a homeless shelter, and to a worthy charity is paying my tithe. And at one point, feeding my children was paying my tithe. Nobody will ever guilt me into tithing again. I allow God to lead me as to where my tithe money goes. And I can tell you, I've never lined the pockets of a wealthy televangelist again. Never again.

    Pamela King Cable http://www.pamelakingcable.com

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  14. Pamela,

    I'm so glad you stopped by and shared your own experience. No one should ever guilt anyone into tithing.

    While I differ with you from a biblical perspective on your thoughts on tithing to a family in need or a homeless shelter, I am 100 % in agreement about being guilted into tithing.

    Tithing is definitely a heart issue… a matter of faith and obedience… giving to honor God because of His great love for us and because of the salvation He has given us at oh-so-great a cost.

    It's sad that many mar Christianity with their un-Christlike behavior. As I've watched what some have done to hurt the faith of others (I know because someone I love dearly was hurt by a leader in the church and is still wondering in the wilderness trying to find his way back) I constantly remind him and myself that those people are just bad ambassadors or maybe even lost. They didn't die for me, but Jesus did and so I live for Christ regardless of what others have done.

    Pamela, thank you SO much for sharing your heart here!

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