Biblical Giving in Your Family
by Joyce Shoemaker
My parents never talked to me about tithing, giving, or the sowing of alms. I went to church only when my parents felt like taking me. My only example of biblical giving while growing up was when the offering plate came around; dad would reach in his wallet and drop in a $20 bill, since they only took me to church for Vacation Bible School, Christmas and Easter, I did not develop an understanding of responsible biblical giving. When I began to understand what God’s Word says about biblical giving, I fully realized it was my responsibility to pass on a legacy of financial principles to our children so that their children’s children would walk in the prosperity of God’s promises.
I like what The Message Bible says in Malachi 3:8-10 about being blessed or cursed when we tithe or don’t tithe. “Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. You ask, How have we robbed you? The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse —the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.”
When both of our children began to receive monies, we taught them the principle of the tithe. When they cheerfully gave of their tithe, they received blessings. When they withheld their tithe, they got dropped from their work schedule, or got their hours reduced. They quickly learned and lived the lessons of Malachi. Have you passed the torch of biblical giving to your children? What have you modeled in your generation that will carry on from generation to generation?
The Message Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8:
“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”
As covenant-keeping Christians, it’s our responsibility to learn what God’s Word says about resources, tithing and giving beyond the tithe. God owns everything and He is our only source of resources. Our children will learn, live and do what we have modeled for them…let it be a godly legacy.