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What if I told you that tithing doesn’t have to look like cash money in the basket on Sunday morning? For many, that is the image that comes to mind when you hear the word “tithe.” From my personal experience, what can be seen as an old, dusty, church chore can be transformed into something that brings new life! When I started tithing, the first barrier that I had to overcome was: where. Without a church home, I asked God how He wanted me to give to His Kingdom.
“Lord I don’t have a church, how can I give?”
Easy, put your money towards the things I call you towards.
“Wait. You’re saying buying a friend coffee to spend time in the community can be tithing?”
As I grew to see the ways in which the Lord prompted my heart, it became evident that tithing can look different for everyone. For some, this means giving to their local church. For others, it’s donating to that friend who is serving in ministry. As a college student, I currently don’t have a home church, but God has provided through this season in unique ways.
As I pondered the best way to give this past year, I was prompted, this time by Live Salted, to commit myself to giving towards their ministry. This was a lightbulb moment and a no-brainer! My connection to Live Salted goes all the way back to 2016. This community has consistently poured into me throughout my transition to college and into me now. I realized that Live Salted isn’t just a resource; it is a community and a way of church. As I realized the significance that Live Salted has had in my faith journey, I boldly signed up.
At this point, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: money.
Money is like water. We know we need it, we have a desire for it, and without it often comes a massive headache. As a minimum wage, part-time employee and full-time student, money isn’t a source of plenty in my life (shout out to student loans).
In a time of prayer over my finances, the Lord prompted me saying, “What if I told you giving away that money will bring you joy and peace?” In full transparency, this idea sounded too great to believe. However in that unbelief I found a transformative story in the book of Mark. The story is called the widow’s offering. In short, a woman provides two small copper coins, minimal to the amount of the others. The twist is that it’s all the money she had.
Talk about a woman of faith! This led me to ponder the question of why we give. Why would this woman just give it all up? I believe it’s because she recognized the freedom in surrender, something the Lord is continually teaching me.
You might be thinking, “That’s great, but I straight up have $7.36 in my bank account right now. How could I possibly help?” Want to know a fun fact? Those two copper coins the widow gave only equate to 1¢ USD. Jesus said that she gave more than any other not because she gave a large sum of earthly value, but because she gave all she had to her Lord. The simple act of returning the money the Lord has blessed us with will do wonders for our personal walks.
As I began my journey to tithing in college, another big hurdle I faced was the mindset of “this is an adult thing.” I initially had that posture that I was just a college student; I’d tithe later when I was more financially stable. Here’s a little secret: that mindset is a lie straight from the enemy. He does a wonderful job of showing us where we will come up short in life and how we don’t qualify. Want to know the incredible truth? We will come up short, but Jesus will always cover the rest. So, when the lie that we need money security first or that a small donation won’t help arises just remember that is exactly that, fake news! When we reject the lies of the enemy, we do so through the power of Jesus.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
As we challenge what holds us back from gifting our money to the King of Kings, remember, where we are weak, He is strong. Where we fear not having enough funds, He provides.
Over the hurdle of these lies is joy. As I began giving to Live Salted, I would receive a notification each month as the money was withdrawn from my account.
As the money left my account, it was a reminder that it was going to benefit not just myself, but the exponential amount of women touched by Live Salted. I am learning that there is something very special about giving our finances over to God that can be equally scary and exciting. I am also learning that giving up control over money is a hard sacrifice, however the joy that comes the more I trust Him with my finances well outweighs that loss.
The cost of tithing can be as minimal as a monthly subscription to Netflix, yet is an investment in your eternal life.
Tithing is no small thing; it impacts the Kingdom in more ways than we will ever know. I pray we walk away from Giving Tuesday, whether or not we can give, with a perspective shift, taking the time to sit with the Lord and really ask these questions for ourselves.
Friends, let’s be open and be perceptive to whatever call the Lord places on you in your finances. There is freedom in surrender. Dig in and see what the Lord has to offer because it’s bigger than you could ever believe!
Maia (pronounced my-uh), is a Washingtonian and a senior at UW studying psychology and comparative religion. You won’t find her on social media much as she would rather be outside playing with dogs. Currently, Maia is working with the INN college ministry via the Palmer House! When she is not skiing or hiking you can find her cheering on the Mariners or watching Star Wars.
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