Following Christ is not a Spectator Sport
By Guy Mueller | October 15, 2019
Like many children raised in a church family, I was taught about the importance of good stewardship. I attended church services regularly and always gave an offering; usually $5 or $10, which I felt pretty good about. After I got married, my wife, Linda, and I continued to attend church and give a weekly offering.
Like most marriages, Linda and I had our difficulties and one continual source of conflict and stress was money. Credit cards were an issue and we seemed to always spend more than we had. After 10 years, our marriage took a turn for the worse, but it was during this time that I was drawn into a personal relationship with God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My life and my marriage began to get better. We continued to go to church but for the first time, the scriptures seemed to be speaking to me. I began reading the Bible daily and couldn’t get enough of the Word. Linda also accepted Jesus and our marriage was transformed. It was so exciting to read scripture together and discuss what God was saying to us through His word.
It was during this time that I came across Malachi 3:8 where it says, “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Wow! How could we possibly give 10% of our income and still make ends meet? But, we took the first step and doubled our offering to $20 the next Sunday. Instead of feeling better, however, we found ourselves convicted and began the next week giving a full tithe and have not looked back since.
Now I do not have any astounding stories of how God pulled us out of a financial crisis, but I can say that in all the years since we began tithing, Linda and I have never had another argument over money and there has never been a need that He has not provided for. I will add, that the conviction we received from God was not just about tithing our finances, but also our time and our talents. He wanted us to get involved in His work – Following Christ is not a Spectator Sport and when we are involved in His labor, the blessings are abundant!