"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3: 8-12)
“Stick ‘em up!” You hold out your first finger on your hand with your thumb pointed to the sky. Standing directly in front of you is your best friend. He immediately puts his hands in the air and proceeds to empty a pretend safe or treasure box or surrender some prize to you. As you begin to walk away, his hand comes down in the same configuration. Suddenly, you are engaged in a deadly battle around your yard or house or playground.
If that doesn’t describe a moment in your childhood at some point, I'd say you had a pretty boring youth. We've all seen children do this or experienced those moments playing at cops and robbers, pirates, superheroes, or some form of crime and rescue make-believe. Nary a day would go by at our house when you wouldn't see a masked and caped crusader fighting for truth, justice, and the right to dessert after dinner!
The problem I always ran into was the fact that no one ever wanted to be the bad guy for me to fight. Most of the time, we all wanted to be the good guy.
Yet, would you believe me when I say that we are all robbers? If you believe in the truth of the scriptures, then you must agree with me. Those verses in Malachi indicate that we have all robbed our Heavenly Father. How? He says with tithes and offerings.
Think about it. Is there anything we have in life that we've earned completely on our own? Anyone with an honest heart will recognize that all things have merely been gifts from God: job, house, family, salvation, our very existence … you get the picture!
But wait, you say, I acknowledge that. I give to the church; I attend on Sundays and Wednesdays; I hold this office; I pray; I read. How am I still a robber, you might ask yourself. I recognize that I've often felt like that. I've done missionary work. I teach MBA. I'm not a bad Saint. Yet, I confess to all of you reading this that I still rob God!
I do not give my full 10 percent as I should. I do not always try to glorify God in my job. I do not always pray for that need that I see on Facebook or Gospel Email or hear on Sunday morning. I do not give my full effort to something The Church needs. I still sin ... and sometimes I do it with knowledge! And worst of all, I come to him armed with excuses for all of it.
OK, so what do I need to do about it? The word gives us the answer: JUST DO IT!
Make the effort. God says to try Him! If we'll bring our tithes to the storehouse of the Lord, He makes specific promises to us. He'll bless you more. He'll provide blessings for you in ways that you've not even begun to imagine. And I will prove it.
My wife and I had just welcomed our second child. We were both working, but our kids had to be in daycare while we did that. At the same time, we were not donating regularly to our branch. It was sporadic at best. But we were satisfied. We both had great jobs, and we were providing for our needs.
One day, we both looked at each other and said, "We have to start donating monthly." It isn’t a choice; it's a commandment. We knew we couldn’t immediately start at 10 percent, but we chose another number and vowed to increase our donations every year until we got to 10 percent.
Within a matter of weeks, I received a job offer. I had not been pursuing a change, but it was handed to me on a silver platter. Not only would it cover all of our financial needs, but it was such a pay increase for me that my wife was able to stop working and stay at home with our children. I attribute it to nothing less than the blessing of God for making the effort of giving more. To God be the glory!
I challenge you ... stop robbing and try God!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.