This I Believe

Chanty - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 30, 2008

I believe in tithing. Tithing is giving ten percent of your income to the church where you are a member or if you’re not a member of a church, the church or ministry where you are being taught, trained and developed by God’s word.

You can look up the Biblical references that support tithing on your own. That is not my goal for this testimony. My goal is to tell you what tithing has done for me.

I accepted Jesus into my life while I was in college. The church that I joined there did not teach on tithes, so I gave financially as I could and as I thought was best. Once I graduated college and got a job, I became a member of a church in the Harrisburg area. Here I was taught that tithing was giving ten percent of your gross income (your income before taxes are taken out) to your church. Yes, it sounded like a lot, but I was obedient and after a while, it became second nature.

Fast forward now to 2006. I’m a married woman with three children. My husband and I have been faithfully tithing throughout married life. We also have been giving offerings beyond the tithe as God blesses us to do so and as needs arise. However, we are in debt–$44,000 in debt to be precise (excluding our home). Now you may think, “That’s normal for most Americans today—especially with car loans.” Well, I read something recently that said because something is common, that does not make it normal. Say for example, in a certain town that 80% of the population have cancer. Yes, it would be common in that town to have cancer, but no it is not normal to have cancer. In the same way, we came to the realization that $44,000 in debt was not a normal thing. We wanted to change.

Now if we were to put giving our tithes and offerings on hold, we could have this debt paid off in about three years. However, the Bible says in the book of Luke, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” So we continued to give and prayed for God to show us how to get out of debt.

Well, as of the end of 2007 God did a miracle! While we continued to tithe, He paid off $27,000 worth of debt—over half of what we owe. As we gave, He gave. But we could not beat God giving! He exceeded and will continue to exceed our giving everytime. What else would you expect from the One who gave His life for us?

This year, 2008, we are on the path to being debt free except for our home by the end of the year. We don’t understand how God did this. But we do believe with all of our hearts that had we not been faithful in tithing, God may not have did what He did. And certainly we wouldn’t have the faith we do today to know that God can do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine.