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Tithing & My Personal Growth

Commentary by Garry L. Jones|

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. –

1 Corinthians 13:11

Growing up I was required to attend Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. This was a must in my grandmoth- er’s home. I attended church but didn’t know the politics of the church. When my brother and I attended we would gather with our friends and have a good time. My brother was the Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday school and I chilled and did my own thing.

The only thing I got excited about was making sure our class won the banner of offering and the banner of attendance; I was always a competitor. My grandmother always provided money for us to put in church. When I tried to spend the money before church, the neighborhood owner of the store wouldn’t allow me to buy anything because he knew the money I had, was supposed to be used to put in the offering plate – R.I.P. Mr. Fuller.

I used to hear people in the neighborhood talk about how preachers only wanted money to pay for their Cadillac and their homes. During that era I also noticed, when invited to dinner, the preachers normally ate better than the children of the household. They got the biggest part of the chicken and you couldn’t eat unless they ate first. I also heard they slept with all the women in church and some members in the church would dislike each other for one reason or another. These things didn’t come from my grandmother but instead from the people in the community.

After I joined the church I was given those same envelopes that people put their money in. When church commenced the ushers would pass the plate around for tithes and offering. I would put my money in the plate while some people put their money in envelopes. I always wondered why peo- ple put their money in envelopes that was the craziest thing to me. I thought I was a thither when I put my little money in church. I didn’t know any better but soon I would come to understand what tithing and offering was all about.

As I got older I begin to learn more about the church. I learned tithes and offering were needed to pay the church bills, to make us comfortable in the winter and summer, do outreach ministry in the community, help others in need and made provisions to keep the church grounds looking good. The money was also used to pay the preachers their salary.

The scriptures say, “Never tie up the mouth of an ox when it is treading out the grain; let him eat as he goes along and in another place. Those who work deserve their pay.” I thought about Pastor Aaron L. Parker because when he preached you could feel the anointing on him and he also teaches at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. I paid close attention to Malachi 3rd chapter, verse 10… “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won’t have room enough to take it in.”

Noticed it said God would pour out a blessing not the preacher. My attitude was once I pay my tithes I cared less about what happens to the money because I don’t look for man to bless me I look for God to bless me. Don’t get me wrong when I joined another church I was reluctant to pay tithes. It was shocking to find out my pastor didn’t talk about tithing much and the church only took up one offer- ing. I think this made me comfortable and I was able to en- joy service without wondering whether or not the church was going to take up an offering for the building funds, the pastor anniversary, and etc.

Keep in mind, tithing doesn’t mean you are going to get a big paycheck in the mail or someone off the street was going to bless you with a lot of money and some cases that may happen but God will bless you if you are a cheerful thither. If you are reluctant to pay your tithes you may as well keep the money in your pockets because you didn’t tithe willingly; you have to trust God. It took me over 40 years to trust God with my money or his money.

I do think God gives us common sense with tithing. If we are getting ready to be put out of our house and we have a choice to pay your mortgage or rent or be put out, I think I would pay my rent or mortgage. The fact that you want to tithe and can’t tithe is a blessing within itself. God knows the heart. I know this is contradicting what I just said about trusting God to provide a way but beware of the preachers that only speak on prospering you don’t see yourself prospering, you only see them prospering.

The Holiday season is here and money may be short in some households. The children and grandchildren are going to be depending on you to break them off with a little something. The electric bill is normally high during this season. What are you going to do? My suggestion is trust God and pray about your situation because every situation is different.

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