Q. 3 years ago we were giving nearly 20% of our gross income to our local church and numerous Christian ministries. Then I lost my job of 20 years. Today, I have had 5 jobs in the past 3 years, all changes due to the economy and layoffs. I have been looking for work for nearly a year, but we are still able to tithe about 16% of my weekly unemployment check. During this time God has graciously provided for all of our needs; our home, food, clothing and good health. But I am having a hard time squaring this experience with “the more generous we are to those in need the more God will give us to share” What am I not getting?
A. There are way too many unknown variables for anyone other than you to make an accurate assessment. What is obvious is that you’ve been able to continue above average giving and keep your family fed, clothed, and housed through out. In fact, your main issue is the lack of security you’ve felt. This provision has to be a fulfillment of God’s promise. I’m guessing there are several million people in the US alone who would like to have had your experience over the past few years.
As for the rest, I can’t say. But here are some things to think about. God is not arbitrary and He’s not inconsistent. When it appears that His promises are not being fulfilled, the variable in the equation has to be with us. Maybe our motives are not properly aligned and at some level we’ve been giving with the expectation of receiving. Maybe our debts have been too high and the Lord has put us on a forced debt reduction program to protect us from what’s ahead. Maybe we’ve developed an attitude of self sufficiency and lost sight of the real source of our provision. Or maybe something else has become our idol; success, possessions, pride, self-righteousness, there are many.
One thing is certain. If we stay close to Him and keep seeking His will, everything will be made clear to us and any obstacle that’s blocking the complete fulfillment of His promises will be removed.