Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Skyscrapers to Yard Work

My family and I have taken a step of faith out of obedience that I, in my most honest moments, did not see happening for a very long time. We are now tithing 10% of our gross income. This, even as we begin this journey, has drastically changed me, my mindset, and my household already. 

My wife and I have debt. I’ve pretty much always had debt since I began independently providing for myself. Part is due to an instant gratification mindset, and part is due to the inability to say “not right now” to those I love. Between student loans, mortgage, and credit card debt, we amassed a sum that would likely make anyone feel almost helpless. 

My mindset on tithing has always been that we obviously should, but that the debt was the first priority. Once the debt was paid down, we could increase our tithe amount. It wasn’t until a meeting with a wonderful mentor that I realized this mindset was not only incorrect, but also possibly what was keeping us from actually being free from debt. 

We are now tithing 10%, and my view and attitude toward our debt has completely changed. See, debt can seem like you are standing by a skyscraper attempting to push it down. You push and push, but it is still standing tall peering down at you, all the while adding floors and becoming taller.  Since we began tithing according to what God’s word the skyscraper isn’t gone, but it is transformed. It is now albeit large, a pile of leaves. It will still require work to clean up, but one bag at a time we will be able to do it. 

We always seem to think in terms of this physical world when we consider obedience to God. Someone may think, “I’ll start tithing and come into some money to be able to pay everything off.” I’m not saying that won’t happen. But in my heart, I truly believe that obedience to God isn’t a quick fix of our past mistakes, instead it is a path to the wisdom and self-control that we need in order to overcome what has replaced Him. It seems like an oxymoron, but freedom really does exist only in surrender. Its freeing to be able to model my actions based on choices already made for me by someone who knows how this world and I work better than I could ever imagine. 

I’m not saying I don’t have to think about it anymore. I still have to be intentional. Following God doesn’t happen by accident – we have to choose it. But, oh, once we do, we are able to see more clearly, worship more passionately, follow closer, and experience more joy and peace than we ever have before. 

If you’re on the edge of following Him, not just financially, but in any facet of your life, let me give you this small insight that I have experienced personally: Do it. Just do it. It won’t be easy, but the route is clearly marked.

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