AUTHOR’S NOTE: After writing this article, I have come to realize that not everyone believes in the tithe anymore and would argue about it. Well, I respect YOU. I know you will respect my conviction too!
I have a confession to make. I have not been blessing God by returning what is due Him. For so many years already, I have not been tithing on my 13th-month pay. I reasoned that because it was “money not earned” it should not count as income. I believed that I did not earn the 13th-month pay because its a bonus. I stubbornly believed that it is not earned income.
Who am I joking?
Last December 6, 2010, we had a fundraising dinner at the Intercon in Makati. Our guest speaker was Chinkee Tan, the former actor-comedian. This leads me to my second confession. I did not believe that Chinkee was the right speaker. I thought he did not fit the “usual” speaker that we had.
Boy, was I wrong…again!
Not only did Chinkee did a great job, he was used by God to let me understand that I have been robbing Him—for a long time already. Chinkee spoke about “Returning and Giving” or something like that.
Chinkee used that much-used Bible verse on giving, Malachi 3:8-10. Let me write it here for you:
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “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.”
The message really spoke to me that night. I fooled myself into believing a lie by the enemy. I don’t know why I bought into it. God said, “…”bring the whole tithe.” I was not bringing the whole tithe. Probably 95%. It’s a small difference, but I was still disobeying God. It dawned on me that this was the reason I was not fully experiencing the “abundant life” that Jesus promised in John 10:10.
Yes, we’re not starving. Yes, we had a roof over our heads. Yes, I can send my kids to good schools. But it was not abundant. I had a few freelance gigs but much of the earnings would just slip by. We could not save to even buy a second-hand car!
As Chinkee spoke the truth and told his personal testimony, I had to repent there and then. Yes, I was helping several families by giving them money, but it seemed unending. It’s like putting money in pockets with holes.
I was not experiencing verse 11 of Malachi 3: “I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty.”
That night, when I went home, I told my wife, Emy, that I will be giving the tithe for my 13th-month pay on the coming Sunday. She readily agreed! She said that she was only waiting for me to realize it because she did not want to argue with me about that issue.
You know what? This afternoon or three days after the dinner, I found out that I am going to receive a tax refund which is double the money I was giving for tithes! I was not even thinking of a tax refund. No such thoughts. It just came.
God was showing me how He will be faithful. That there will be a lot more things coming my way if I would just ALWAYS obey.
How about you? Have you returned to the Lord what is rightfully His? Experience God’s blessing and He will take care of you–richly!