Confessions of an ex-shopaholic!

tithe

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about financial management and what it has to do with God? Let me tell you, financial management and using God’s money the right way has everything to do with our faith. God wants us to be financially responsible with the money that He has blessed us with, whether it is from a job He gave you, or any form of income that you receive that you don’t have to owe back.

It is so easy for us to use our credit cards to make purchases because we don’t physically see the money leaving our hands. Think about it. One swipe here, and another swipe there. When was the last time you paid cash for a transaction? This isn’t to say you should always use cash to make purchases. The point that I am trying to make across is that if you have the money, then you can make your purchases with your credit card (and receive those Air Miles points to get some free gas!!)

When I got my first credit card, I was in my first year of University. I remember racking that thing like it was nobody’s business; a shoe here, a bag there and all the clothes to fill my closet. I basically drowned myself in debt because I was spending money that I never had. I wish someone told me to be wise with my money and start saving instead of spending on ridiculous things, but I guess that was something I had to learn to understand and appreciate what God has blessed me with today. If you are drowning in debt, the first thing you should do is store away your credit card(s) until you can pay off your debt.

tithe2Another topic that relates to financial management is tithing and offering. In Leviticus 27:30 it says, “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing; I know I had such a hard time with it in the early stages of my faith. Even in some churches, giving is over emphasized. At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical teachings about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing, as it says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Sadly, that is sometimes not the case in the church today. We ask God to bless us bountifully, but how can we expect God to bless us if we’ve only sewn sparingly? In 2 Corinthians 9:6 it says “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” So, my friends, sow into God’s work here on earth bountifully and you will reap bountifully!

To be honest though, God doesn’t need our money, because He is the creator of the universe. However, He is looking for obedience and hearts that are willing to give generously. The Old testament speaks about giving ten percent, but the New Testament talks about giving generously, 10 percent is the bare minimum of the term “giving generously” and should just be the starting point of your tithe.

tithe3If you have a hard time giving to the Lord, ask yourself this question: Do you care more about the money that God has blessed you with, or God Himself? It is really sad when people try to justify their greed. Many people cry out to God and ask Him to bless them and cause them to prosper, yet when He does, they don’t give even a fraction of that back to Him. Don’t just give God the bare minimum, or your leftovers to Him; as Proverbs 3:9 states :”Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase.” Give generously to the kingdom of God! When you give to Him without holding back, you will see an increase in every area of your life!

Let’s be smart with our money that God has blessed us with and be joyful when we give back to the One who gave us everything. Start making wise decisions about your money and watch your spending habits. I find having a monthly cash flow chart helps me manage my money. This way I make a budget and know what percent of my income I am putting towards tithes/offerings, groceries, necessities, mortgage or rent for those that own or rent a place, entertainment etc. Today is the first day of the rest of your life; make it a point to make smart decisions concerning your finances.

 

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