Seasonal Tither. If you’ve just heard of this it’s because I just made it up. A seasonal tither is that person who gives (more or less) 10% of his earnings to the church or his spiritual community, but inconsistently.
This was me.
Being an active member of Catholic Charismatic communities for 8 years, I’ve heard countless teachings and testimonies about tithing: its importance and how much it has blessed a lot of people. And I’ve been one of those people who, after an inspiring sharing or talk, driven by the spur of the moment, would start tithing for a few months, but eventually stop after that. I even have an excel file with tithes as the very first cash outflow. The problem is, my budget before was almost never executed. I end up spending the money allotted for tithes for something else.
I have the knowledge. I have the planning. But I fail in execution.
I’ve been on this loop for years and it just came into that point where I got so frustrated because I know for a fact that I should be tithing regularly. But I don’t. Why can’t I commit and why am I so inconsistent about it? I found the answer when I decided to sit down, reflect and just be plain honest with myself.
“Lord, nagsserve naman ako, ok na yun dibaaaa~?” I am very passionate on the ministries I serve in, and I use this as an excuse to cover-up what I lack on my tithing responsibility. It came to a point where I got really uncomfortable of praying “Lord, you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” or sing songs of praises like “Lord I give you my all” or “I’ll throw my life into His hands”. Really, Grace? THROW is a big word. It means giving your all. I realized that it’s not enough to welcome God into my life but keep him off limits on the areas that still want control over. How can He be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords if I am the boss on the parts of my life that I don’t want him to see or touch? I am a lukewarm Christian. I do not completely live what I pray and sing and preach about. Somehow this truth stings, but I know this is necessary for me to move forward.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK
All the while I thought my only problem is that I fail in budgeting. Not even close! I actually have a heart issue. Because it’s hard to commit to something if your heart is not in it. So, I asked myself, “Why is my heart far from tithing?”
Refrigerator. I always come back to that one moment during my childhood when I want to eat this favorite pasalubong bought by my parents, but we have this rule of eating together and it should be exact and equal sharing. I remember the frustration of wanting something that you can see but you can’t get, and that feeling of being deprived. I hated that feeling. So when I grew up and started earing on my own, I made sure I’m secured in ALL my needs first before sharing. But that’s the problem right there. I always feel that I don’t have enough.
What I thought as a consistency and commitment issue, is actually only an effect of a much bigger problem: GREED and LACK OF FAITH.
As I reflect on my life, I don’t recall a moment when God did not provide me with things I need, endless grace and blessings outpours even when I don’t work for or deserve them. So, why am I holding on to my treasure as if I won’t have enough? The birds in the skies and the flowers in the fields receive everything they need. They don’t worry. All they do is just be. (Shoutout to Matthew 6:25-34!)
That was my turning point right there. Tithing now has a whole new meaning to me. From that point, I began tithing regularly.
YES, IT’S AN INVESTMENT. NO, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU’RE THINKING.
I’ve heard countless testimonies of people being blessed financially ever since they started tithing. For some, including me, there’s this mentality of “Oh, so it’s like an investment. When I tithe, I will get promoted/ grow my business / get an increase!” But what if you don’t? Are we just been deceived by these testimonies into what tithing really is?
I learned that tithing has always been blessing every tither, but not in human standards. Heaven has a very special way of rewarding us. Unlike in a regular kind of financial investment where you’d know what to gain in the end (example, if you invest money in the stocks and the market grows, your money grows), with tithing, we are investing in building the Kingdom of God on earth. So when you give to Him, He will reward you (whether you like it or not, because He’s just awesome like that) not with the things on your wish list, but with the things you need, when you need it. It opens up the person’s heart to SEE God’s hands in all things. Because He’s always been there. When we open our hands to give to Him, we free up a space that only He can fill. So I believe the financial blessings/freedom/peace that the tithers receive is because their heart is finally at the right place.
As for me, I feel that I’m already blessed even before I tithe, because it takes a grateful and faithful heart to really commit to tithing. Every time I tithe, I keep my arms wide open to whatever He will bless me. When I’m praying for something that He doesn’t give (yet), I take that He is teaching me patience. And that itself is a gift. I keep on discerning what He is trying to teach me at a certain season when things get hard and difficult. Tithing has taught my heart to see things this way. I complain and grumble less. When I allow God to be the God of my finances, I feel confident and secure in His Kingship.
SO, NOW WHAT?
I’m sharing this blog especially for those people who maybe struggling with tithing. Trapped in the loop of giving, then giving up. Please don’t take my story as your reason for tithing. Because every story is different. I don’t want this to be another one of those testimony that will hype you up but only for a little while. My dear friend, aim for consistency. If you are struggling with being a consistent tither, sit down, reflect, be honest. Really dig deep when you ask yourself, WHY? The answer is within you. Right there in your heart.
Praying for you,