There is a story of a rich man who wanted to help a poor carpenter and his family. He hired him to build a house and went away on a long journey. The carpenter said, “My boss is away so I can use substandard materials and no one but me will know.” So he built a cheap and shoddy house.
When the rich man returned the carpenter said to him, “Here is your house all finished according to your instruction.” “Good,” said the rich man, “and here are the keys and the deed. It is yours. I am giving you this house to live in.” By using cheap materials, he had only cheated himself.
This story is a good illustration of the biblical concept of tithing. Failure to return tithes and offerings can gradually weaken your faith in God and can rob you of the blessings God intends for you.
Robbery is exactly what God calls this form of unfaithfulness. It may be unthinkable for many of us that robbing God is possible. Can you really rob an omnipotent God? The answer is yes, when you intentionally fail to return your tithes and offerings.
But how can we as teachers instill in our students a sense of the importance of tithing? Often it can be difficult to understand why God would need or want a portion of the money we feel we have earned by our hard work. Here are a few tips to help you explain the benefits of tithing to your students:
- Tithing system protects you from materialism.
While tithing is an important element of worship, it can also help you to protect yourself from being greedy. God designs that we should anchor our faith in him, not in material things. He wants to show us how to find our sense of security in his care for us, not in our incomes or material possessions. Doing so can provide a sense of peace, even when we may not have all that we want.
- Balancing lifestyle and financial support to God’s kingdom.
Another form of robbing God is by having an extravagant lifestyle. Many Christians buy a new home, a new car, new furniture and many other luxuries of life without contributing to God’s work. There is nothing wrong with acquiring things. In fact, God wants us to prosper. But it is important not to neglect to support God’s ministry. The keyword in this principle is balance. Do not forget to increase your giving, especially when God prospers you.
- Robbing God deprives us spiritual and material blessing.
Some people decide not to be generous due to lack of financial resources. But in robbing God, we also rob ourselves of the joy of giving and of the blessings of being a faithful steward. Though we may feel we do not have enough money to spare for tithing, God invites us to test him, and by so doing, prove his blessings always come to those who tithe faithfully. You cannot out-give God.
Ultimately, we must teach our students that true wealth consists of what God has entrusted you— your health, your work, your family, your money, and your skills and talent. We must show them how to seek financial wisdom from the Scripture and begin to acknowledge that the Lord owns everything.