My husband and I are complete opposites.
We have stumbled upon this truth often throughout our marriage, but one of our most noticeable differences is our approach to money.
I’m a saver, and I tend to budget in a traditional way: I take the total amount we make, subtract the cost of our bills and groceries, and then whatever is left is our “miscellaneous” money, which can go toward coffee, a date night, unexpected expenses, etc. Typically, any giving I do comes out of the “miscellaneous” category, and when that leftover money is tight, so is my generosity.
My husband, on the other hand, would gladly give someone the shirt off his back, even if he didn’t have another one waiting on him at home. He has an incredibly generous heart, and when we were dating, I loved it. However, when we got married, and suddenly he was giving away “our” stuff and not just “his” stuff, I started to hate it. He introduced me to a new way of budgeting: take the total amount we make, subtract 10% for tithe, and trust that the rest will fall into place.
I struggled with this for several years, and I thought it was because it’s hard for savers and givers to see eye to eye. A stronger truth is that it was hard for me to shift a mindset I’d had my entire life.
But that’s exactly what God calls us to do.
He asks us to give of our first-fruits, not our leftover fruits.
In my flesh, I try to hold onto what I have while I wait for what I want.
“Money’s too tight this month, but I’ll give more once I get that raise.”
But God doesn’t ask me to give more when I get more; instead, He asks me to give now so that He can give more. Because He doesn’t promise to bless what I wish I had—He promises to bless what I have left. When I focus on myself and my needs, I hold on to things too tightly. I sit there, locked in a death grip, thinking that I’m protecting what I have from the enemy when all I’m really doing is keeping it from God.
The enemy can’t steal my tithe, but he can convince me that God won’t miss it. He can whisper in my ear that my practical needs outweigh a silly tradition, and I can just make it up next month.
Friends, what you have is never too small to glorify God, whether it’s your tithe or your talent. Of course the enemy is going to tell you it’s not enough. But God shows us, time and time again, how people with the least amount are the ones with the most to give.
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
– Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)