I am going to be completely straightforward and upfront on this post. If you agree with me on the subject, that is fine. If you do not, that is fine too. This is my personal experience and I am sharing it simply as such.
I posted a while back about the subject of tithing. Tithing is giving 10% of all you receive back to the Lord. Different religions or beliefs clarify this as different things. In my belief, it is to give 10% to my church. With those funds, the church is surely able to bless the lives of others. Be it temples, church buildings, helping struggling families who are deeply in need, and so on.
Other people believe it is giving 10 % of your income to those around you, not a church. Others just put whatever they feel into a collection plate. From what I have been told of the collection plate from a few people I know, it usually is just about $20 or so each time the collection plate goes around. Typically not 10% of their income. And that is completely fine! Whatever you believe is what you should live by.
In my personal life, I pay 10 % to our church before paying anything. This 10 % is figured before taxes. I have paid tithing off and on most of my life. In the past 2 years, I have paid an honest tithe knowing that if I did, the Lord would keep his promise and provide for our needs. I have never had an issue paying this- as I know that it is needed, until the past little while. Lately it seems there is always something coming up and somehow, somewhere we seem to be lacking.
I will be completely honest and tell you guys that, yes I have been a complainer on this subject recently. "Why should I be paying x amount in tithing when we are barely getting by? We can't afford to pay. I can just use the money I would have paid in tithing and put it to other areas where it is really needed. Come on, the Lord can understand this. Can't He?"
I have been praying and pleading. I have put my needs to Him. The previous post I mentioned how I had a feeling I was supposed to go to that flea market. I didn't mention to you that I have been praying for the little things lately. Shoes for my son. That was part of my prayers. The pure chance that I stumbled upon brand new shoes that he really needed, when I have been so desperately praying and pleading for help? I know it isn't chance.
Or how about the school lunch program? I was packing lunch for my daughter the first few weeks of school. When your budget is already strapped and you add something as simple as lunches for her, it isn't easy. I was informed that we would qualify for the school lunch program for her. I applied and never heard back. Somehow the paper work got lost. :( I, of course, complained and whined over it. I had to fill it all out again. The next few days we were informed she qualified for reduced lunches. It was costing me $1.50 to pack and send her lunch with her. The reduced lunch fee is 40 cents. So a 90 cent saving a day. When we went up to pay money on her account, the lunch lady informed us that, though she qualified for the reduced lunch, there would be no fee for her lunches. She informed us that the school district is doing some random study on lunches and this year if anyone qualifies for reduced lunches, they will be receiving lunch for free. Someone could easily say that this is just pure luck and it has nothing to do with spirituality or tithing. I beg to differ.
When you are praying and pleading for help and guidance in certain areas, and you willingly and happily pay your tithing trusting fully in the Lord, knowing He will provide, and something comes your way, I know it is His work. Yes, I have been debating on paying tithing lately due to income and things coming up, but I know that the Lord is testing me. I can't imagine where we would be without me paying an honest tithe. Surely I know we wouldn't be where we are today.
To tie into the subject of tithing, the other night I got to thinking how blessed we really are. I am a single mother with two healthy kids, a safe roof over our heads, two healthy and happy dogs, food to eat, great clothing on our backs, our religion and freedom to worship, a paid off car, and all the things many people take for granted. Yes, I might complain or wish I had better things sometimes, but I know I am so much better off that someone else might be. I know that it is thanks to the Lord and my faith in paying tithing. Yes, I will surely be tested all throughout my life, but do I want to fail? No. I want to happily pay my tithing and have faith that He will provide a way for our needs to be met. I am happy I have been paying my tithing. :)
I have many other instances where I know that the Lord has provided for my kids and I as a result of paying tithing. But I will leave this thought with you- If you want to be better provided for and having better faith in your life, I greatly suggest paying tithing. If you don't belong to a church and have no desire to join any churches, what about giving back to your community? Ten percent might seem like a lot to someone, but I promise you if you do this, you will be provided for. And if there comes a time in your life where you really need something and are completely lacking, I am sure beyond any certainty that something will come of it and your needs will be met.