So, you have managed to see yourself as blessed. Moreover, you now see yourself as rich, too. You went ahead and also invested your riches and multiplied them. What’s the next step? What does the Bible teach about the third step which completes the cycle?
Give. As simple as that. But give like you mean it. Not a bit here and a bit there to suit and maintain clear your own conscience.
Happily, there’s a starting point set for us already – 10%. This is what God instructed his people to give in the Old Testament and Jesus confirmed in the New. It’s important also to realize that this is not a piece of advice given to us which we can decide to follow only when we wish to. Tithe, the 10% – it’s not optional.
Before we move on to the really difficult part, however, let’s have a look at Malachi 3:10. It’s one of the many verses which by their misinterpretations a lot of people have turned into walking on a fine line, but in spite of this it remains a promise of God. He says:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
– Malachi 3:10, NIV
As He often does, when it comes to giving God also attaches a promise to his command. Twisted desires throughout time have led many to believe in giving for the sake of receiving. This, however, is a concept foreign to the Bible. This is not some ages old metaphor of what is today recognized as a vending machine. God doesn’t work on this principle. A true and honest believer knows and recognizes this.
Let’s talk a bit about wealth. The wealth which is given to us by God. It is mostly non-material, but I’d argue that there is quite a bit of “stuff” that God gives us gladly – and we receive in a similar fashion. It’s so often that we pray for God to give us this or that… and He does. But the first question to ask ourselves is: How long does it usually last us? That excitement, that recognition, that fulfillment.
So, let me ask you another one: When was the last time you looked at yourself, your life and the life around you and you said “I’m rich!“?
I honestly don’t meet too many people who share about such experiences with me. Up until recently I myself had issues recognizing everything which has been given to me. Then in a series of unfortunate events I actually was awaken and realized that, if I claim that I’m blessed by God, I ought to also consider myself as such. Put next to that the fact that when God gives, HE GIVES. It’s not like He’s joking around – He always gives exactly what is needed. This is how I came to the thought that recognizing God’s blessings should define my status as rich.
Today, with the immense growth of consumerism, gadget possession and whatever else there is that money can buy and which (we believe) defines us, it’s increasingly more difficult to count oneself as rich. There’s always going to be someone above us. Someone who went on the next i-Thing cue first, someone who managed to go up in the pre-order list… Someone who’s making a six-digit salary in EUR per year. I find it very interesting that so many people tend to compare ourselves with those who are better, have more, etc. Why is it that for once we can’t compare with the poorer, the needy, the hungry? I think I know part of the answer, and it fits in one word only: responsibility.