There’s an old joke about a man who holds his wallet out of the water when he gets baptized, but most Christians live their lives just like that. “Lord, you can have it all! Just not my money.” We freely offer up all of our problems, worries and concerns. We ask Jesus to heal our bodies, protect our children, fix our spouses and our bosses and provide for us financially.

But then we say we cannot afford to give.

I’ll boldly say that if you’re not tithing, you’ll never have financial peace. Sure, lots of people are financially healthy and don’t tithe. And I would venture to guess that most millionaires aren’t even Christians. Most Christians, in fact, struggle with money. And fewer than 3% of Christians tithe. No wonder we’re all such a mess with our money.

But you cannot ask for God’s blessings on your finances if you don’t do the one thing He asks you to do first with the money He entrusts to you. It takes faith, but this is the one area in the Bible where God invites us to challenge Him. So give it a try.

I’ll be transparent here and say this is the one financial area I continue to struggle with. When bad things happen and money gets tight (and that has happened often this year!), my fear response clicks in and I want to cling to every dollar. I get scared. I worry that God’s not going to show up. And God, forgive me for that, because You have never once failed to show up. You’ve never failed to meet a need. In fact, we’re so blessed, that You’ve even given us most of our wants. Thank you.

Read Malachi 3:10-12 and Proverbs 3:9-10 to hear God’s heart and His promises in this area. God keeps His promises.

This isn’t about money, it’s about our hearts. God doesn’t need our money, but He wants us to demonstrate our submission of our lives to Him in every area, and He knew when He created us that this would be the area that tripped us up the most.

But if you’re a believer and you’ve been taught about tithing and you don’t, don’t wonder why you’re struggling with money. You know why. If you spend your money every month thinking you know what’s best and you don’t need to give, then God is not the god of your money, you are. And you’ll never know the joy and the peace that comes with having God’s blessings on your finances until you get this one thing right.

You’ll be glad you did. I promise! But more importantly, God promises. And that’s a promise you can take to the bank.

So here’s what I want to know: Do you tithe? If so, why? If not, why not? What stops you from giving if you don’t give, and what keeps you going if you do?

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