Imagine God taking us to McDonalds. He goes up to the counter and buys us French fries – super-sized French fries – and then blesses us by giving us all those fries. He then sits down at the table with us and after a couple minutes, he asks to have a couple of fries. And we pull back our bag of fries and say “No, those are mine!” Even though he’s the source of those fries, we don’t want to give back to God what he has generously provided to us. God gives everybody French fries in the form of spiritual blessings and material resources. In God’s sovereignty He’s decided to give some people more fries than others… and some fries you get might be a different shape than what others get… but He gives us jobs and money, creativity and ideas. He provides housing and clothing, vehicles and food. God blesses us with finances not only to provide for our basic needs, but also to fund the Church and expand the Kingdom.
But what is often the problem for us is our self-centeredness and lack of faith in God’s promises. Life is not about having the biggest house, making the most money, driving the nicest car, or accumulating the most stuff. It’s not about getting a bigger storage unit. In God’s conversation with the OT Prophet Malachi, he makes it very clear that the self-centeredness of the Israelites is what brought disasters and problems of all kinds. They brought it on themselves because they were not generous toward God. But the Lord said “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this… and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10) Tithing is directly linked to blessing. We should never withhold the tithe that belongs to the Lord. The promise applies even during the lean times, even when you don’t have much income coming in. In fact, when you have the least to give – and you still give sacrificially – God rewards abundantly. The amount of the gift reflects the attitude of your heart and the value you place on your relationship with the Lord. Don’t short-change the Lord or his Church.