Is the Devil Stealing Your Money?
Do not let the devil steal your money, especially at church. This may sound like an anti-
church message but trust me it is not. All I’m saying is that when you’re in church you are dealing with people - human beings - who are flawed and imperfect in so many ways. Everyone is trying to improve themselves through the Power of God, but because they are dealing with their own brokenness and trauma, they can easily fall into a trap of sin and not even realize it.
I live out in the country and I have a friend who lived on an acreage. We were both housewives at the time. We went to different churches but every week we would come together for Bible study. One day she came to Bible study so excited about what had happened at church. She had been to some kind of church conference where the pastor and the band had whipped everyone into a frenzy of worship and celebration – nothing wrong with that, by the way. Their church was raising money for some kind of situation, and they were encouraging everyone to give as much as they could. My friend and her husband got so excited with the idea of giving, that her husband gave his entire paycheck to the cause.
I didn’t want to discourage her, but inside I was shocked and dismayed. Clearly, she did not see this the way I did. My thoughts are that God gave you your job and the blessing from that job is your paycheck. Your paycheck is there so that you can feed your family, pay your bills, and obtain the things that you need. Of course, you need to tithe from your paycheck, and you are certainly free to give whatever over-and-above offerings you feel led by God to give. But giving over your entire paycheck? What was that all about?
When you tithe, the theory is that God blesses you; not necessarily from the church but from somewhere in your life you should see the blessing of God. Perhaps a friend comes over that you hadn’t seen in years and you were able to reconcile past difficulties. Perhaps an opportunity pops in front of you that you never thought you would get. Maybe you were able to purchase something that you wanted at a huge discount. Maybe even you learned a concept that changed the way you saw your life. The question is, was my friend blessed when they gave their entire paycheck?
The belief was ‘the more you give to God the more you get from God’. The church bears no responsibility to make sure you are blessed. I question whether giving so much money to this particular church was considered giving to ‘God’. Within 6 months of handing over the paycheque, they were forced to move from the acreage due to lack of finances. They rented a house in town. Unfortunately, they continued to go to the same church and act the same way with their money. They continued to make questionable decisions all concerning this church. Finally, after a couple of years, they had to declare complete bankruptcy and they moved into a holiday trailer and lived in my backyard for the summer so that they could save some money. My friend was completely devastated and dove into a deep depression. I could be wrong, but I don’t think God was blessing them in this situation.
They kept going to this church for several years afterward while experiencing failure after failure. One day they realized that after 10 years of dedicated attendance, the main pastor hadn’t even made the effort to find out my friend’s husband’s first name! They had finally had enough and decided to switch churches. They found a Holy Spirit-filled, Bible-believing church that encouraged them in their Biblical gifting. At this point, their 'luck' so to speak began to change. My friend’s husband got an excellent paying job and a couple of years later he went into business for himself where he thrives and money is now no longer an issue in their lives.
It is also important to check out your church. Keeping the parable of the sower and the seeds in mind, check to see if your church is ‘good ground’. Do they only pay attention to themselves? Or do they reach out to their community to help the less fortunate? Some churches sponsor soup kitchens or homeless or women’s shelters. Is that where your tithe is to go? Perhaps God has placed someone in need right in front of you to say what you will do. Is this an opportunity for you to give? Allow God to guide you in all your steps.
I also heard of a church where a pastor or a deacon would come to your home and literally take your entire paycheck from you. He would, in turn, give you back what he felt you and your family needed to live on. This seems wrong to me and it feels like this teaching borders on sin. When someone takes all your money, it’s as though the devil himself is taking away the blessing that God just gave you. Yes, it was God that gave you your paycheck; not the pastor. And God gave you the authority to decide what happens to it.
These are teachings based on the sin of greed. The truth is that Pastors and church leaders also would like to have a paycheck. As imperfect people, those that are in charge of the money can begin to get ‘gold fever’ and can easily see a way to make their paycheck bigger. This is why we see pastors with their own airplanes asking for money from those who are not sure where their next meal is coming from. Not only is this literally at your expense, but it is also not what God had in mind at all.
It is very important to understand how to deal with your money as far as God is concerned. Tithing is the biblical and expected practice. But how do we tithe? We have our paycheck, we have our deductions, and we have our take-home pay. How do we calculate the proper way to tithe? What if we have a business and don’t have a paycheck with deductions? How do we continue to pay our suppliers and our employees to carry on our operations? How do we calculate our tithe? Please watch the video below that will explain the nitty-gritty of exactly how tithing should work.
1. All deductions are not your money to spend, therefore,
Regular Paycheques are always tithed 10% on the Net.
2. Businesses tithe only once per year 10% on their Net Profit. This can be divided by 12 and spread throughout the year.
3. Please be sensitive as to where God wants you to put your tithe. Note: It may not be at your home church. Rather it may be for the local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other local charity. Allow God to guide you.
4. Don't let your church or anyone else take all your money and give back what they think you should live on. This is a teaching based on GREED.
This year challenge yourself with your tithe. Dedicate the first 3 months to tithing the lesser amount as the video described. Allow God to guide you as to where that money should go. And finally, watch carefully to see what blessings may come. If blessings do not come as God promised, recheck your strategy as to where your tithe is going. Remember, you are free to give as much as you want with the over-and-above offerings, just make sure that your bills are paid and your children are fed.
Do not let the devil steal your money right out of your hand. Because we know that when God and the devil get into a fight who wins? That’s right… God wins!
God Wins Coffee Mug