When I was a single mom, I committed to tithing to the church from my income. My heart’s conviction from this biblical principle gave me great joy... even though a tithe from my small income wasn’t much.

Every two weeks, I wrote that check and cheerfully placed it in the offering plate. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The verse before this admonishes that when we sow sparingly we will reap sparingly. And the verse that follows assures us that God is the one who will make grace abound toward the giver so that there will be sufficiency and “an abundance for every good work.”

God doesn’t need the offering money. Rather, through our giving with a right motive and our devotion to him, he supplies the needs of others and blesses us in return. Giving does require faith. I remember how my tight budgets pressed in with the thought that I couldn’t possibly tithe. The numbers wouldn’t work. But, that’s where faith’s stewardship in God’s economy became practical.

By faith we believe what the Bible teaches and we apply it as best we can with cheerful hearts and trust that God is the owner of everything. We are to be his managers.

It is wrong to have a poverty theology. This teaches an imbalanced view and a disdain for possessions or money. When the rich person came to Jesus asking what he still needed to do, Jesus told him to sell everything. This was not his plan for everyone. He was seeing into the heart of this inquirer that riches had become his god.

On the other hand, prosperity theology assumes prosperity is a reward for righteousness. The love of money can lure people away from God. Jesus warned a rich man that his ‘I, Me and, Mine’ mentality would get him nowhere... for his soul would be required of him that night.

Proper theology views one’s possessions as a trust from God (no matter how small or large) that is carefully managed. A glance into Proverbs 31 sees a woman who is a saver, wise in her purchases, a worker, and a giver to the poor. She cares for her household and enjoys the fruit of her labors.

Money is a wonderful servant, but a lousy master. So whatever the Lord has blessed us with, let’s honor him with faith’s stewardship. Selah

Jan Merop, a prolific and award-winning writer, has had her column “Pause...and Consider” published weekly for almost 30 years. Her signature, Selah, indicating a time of silence, reflects her title. She and her husband, Ken, moved to Avery County two years ago and actively volunteer in the area. They have three sons and five grandchildren. Visit her blog Journeying with Jan at pauseandconsider.net.

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