Tithing and still broke… where is the promised blessing
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
- Malachi 3 vs 10.
THE ABOVE verse has often been used to emphasise to Christians the importance of tithing in relation to blessings.
Tithing, in essence, is giving one-tenth of your earnings into the Church's treasury.
However, for many believers, the promise of the "windows of heaven being opened and the blessing pouring out has not been a reality".
In fact, many are still struggling to pay their bills or even getting ahead.
President of the Jamaica Council of Churches Reverend Everald Galbraith, speaking on his interpretation of the verse, said, "The children of Israel were commanded to give tithe of all the increase in their fields."
Galbraith suggests that it was something holy and to be dedicated to the Lord.
"However, after the Babylonian exile, in Malachi's time, many had stopped or were inconsistent in giving to God - the tithe - that which rightfully was His."
Tithing is seen as a spiritual discipline and an act of faith. "So that, believing that God will fulfil his promises is important."
According to Galbraith, unbelief can have an adverse effect on the outcome of the exercise.
"In addition to this, the attitude of the giver is important. God enjoins the giver to be of a "willing heart". But above all, God's timing is pre-eminent. His timing and seasons do not necessarily coincide with man's," Galbraith told Family & Religion.
He pointed out that giving tithe is an act of worship and obedience to God. The decision to tithe, he said, should not depend on the outcome as all the earth's resources belong to God.
"Tithing, therefore, is an acknowledgement of His lordship over all and a response to His goodness and generosity - tithing is supposed to break the burden of debt in your life. Whatever you venture in, the promise is made that He will rebuke the devourer for your sake."
Some Christian tithe one-tenth of their net earnings, but as Galbraith pointed out, the focus is on one-tenth of gross income.
"The tithe is a part (the entry way) of the Christian's call to a life of generosity, so that there is an expectation that Christians will give generously in all areas of their lives."
For those expecting 'the blessing plan', in terms of riches, the pastor pointed to a great plan - God's ultimate - which is salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ.