Q. My husband wants to start tithing, and I believe that I am supposed to as well, as an act of obedience and gratitude and faith. However, there is a huge gap for me in this area between my faith and my desire to be obedient. We are going through a tough time financially and I have a hard time letting go of money that I don’t feel like we can spare. I want to WANT TO tithe, but I’m not there yet. I believe my husband when he says that he has seen blessings as a result of tithing, but I don’t want to tithe just to receive blessings. I know that God does not want my money if I’m not giving with the right heart. My husband believes that if I begin to tithe and see the blessings and provision of God, that my heart will then change. What do I do?
A. You seem to be lacking three things. The first is gratitude, which is the only acceptable motive for tithing. I’m not just talking about gratitude for the things you have, but for the fact that the Lord saved your life. You were dead in your sins, destined for eternal punishment, when He saved you. But He didn’t just save you out of that, He also saved you into an eternity of blessing you could never earn or deserve. The more you learn about what all that means, the more grateful you’ll be. Like you said, the Lord doesn’t need your money, but giving to advance the Kingdom is the way He wants you to express your gratitude.
The second thing you lack is an abundance mentality. You think the money you have is yours and there’s only so much to go around. In reality the money you have is the Lord’s and He has an infinite supply. When you learn to give generously out of gratitude for what you’ve been given, you’ll experience the blessing of His abundance. He said that the measure we use in giving will equal the measure He uses in blessing (Luke 6:38)
And the third thing is faith. You’re right in thinking you shouldn’t give just to receive, because that would be greed, not gratitude. You should give out of your gratitude for what you’ve already received, and the Lord who sees your gratitude will bless you. But you have to take the first step.
If you want to want to give, develop an attitude of gratitude for what you’ve already received. First try to imagine what your eternity would have been like if the Lord hadn’t saved you, then try to imagine what it will be like because He did. The rest will follow.