Monday, March 17, 2014
The Ten Percent
I grew up in a family where money was sometimes an issue. As a young girl, attending business school in downtown Pittsburgh, during lunchtime while all the other girls had their crisp dollar bills ready at our local McDonald's and other fast food establishments, I shamefully brought along my brown bagged lunch. My parents didn't have daily money to hand me. I was fortunate I had enough to ride the bus to and from school. My brother and I never wanted for anything, but frivolity wasn't a part of our lives.
Years later when my father retired, he took a drastic cut in his monthly wages. He even got a part-time job at a convenience store to make ends meet. Because of many health bills and re-financing through the years, my parent's home wasn't paid off and I saw them struggling financially as they grew older.
It was about this time, I became separated from my husband of twelve years. At first, my son and I lived with my family, helping with monthly bills, until we found a small house to rent. I had a full time job, but as a single mom, new challenges were presented to me. Clothes for my son, food, whatever he'd need for school projects and such. Yet through this whole time, I kept hearing about "the ten percent." I had strong Christian friends who spoke about "tithing", the giving of ten percent of your wages to your church. For years I questioned it. Brought up in a traditional church, we gave an envelope, sometimes lucky to put 10.00 on a good week. Yet here were my friends, all who seemed financially stable telling me about the biblical principle.
I read my bible about it, looking up any passages I could find. I prayed about it: Lord, is this something I could be doing? Is this something I should be doing?
Finally, after feeling deep down inside that this was something I needed to do, I made a decision to tithe to my traditional church. I truly began to believe that my son and I would be taken care of financially. I noticed almost immediately while writing out my weekly bills, as long as my first check was the ten percent, all the rest of the bills were able to be paid as well, with money left over. This was amazing.
About that time, my father came to me with a problem: his little old car was on its last leg and Dad wasn't sure what to do. There was no extra money to buy a used car, and his credit was poor at the time. After prayerful consideration and many, many tears, I decided to help him out. I took a small loan at a local credit union with tears streaming down my face. How would I do this? I'd promised God I'd tithe, and here was a new burden laid upon me. Month after month went by, and somehow, some way, I always had enough. I still gave my ten percent, paid my own monthly bills and took care of my father's bill as well. The principle overwhelmed me.
Years have gone by since that time. I've remarried and taught my husband about the ten percent. It's almost miraculous because not only are we able to take care of our bills, but I see the blessing being passed down to the next generation, our children. I see each one of them with amazing blessings in their jobs and their lives. It's true, the principle of God throwing open the floodgates of heaven. It may not mean picking the winning numbers for the lottery, but I can tell you this: It is God's promise, a promise of stability in our finances and lives. Of generosity toward our church and others. And a lifetime of financial peace and blessings.
This is the link to an interview I did with my church. At about 37:00 our pastor begins talking strongly about the biblical principal. My interview follows.