I know I am lucky. I live in a country that helps me financially so that I can take the time to find a job that is appropriate to my educational level and what I want. Thus, I get financial support from the a-kasse, as we call them and I search for jobs and go to activities every now and again that might help networking and eventually lead me to a job. I needed to underline that to myself before writing my first status on tithing in 2017.
December 21st, 2016: Tithing is going to be different this first month. As I write this we are in december, 2016. I have just received my support from the state and taxes alone have taken so much of the support, that tithing is impossible. It made me so disappointed with myself as I had made this commitment. But I prayed about this to God. Cause truthfully this month is going to be tight. So is the whole year going to be – so it is a good start to begin learning to live with what I have and not spend more than that. I was reminded of what a friend once told me that tithing can be so much more than money. You can also give away your time and resources. So January for me is going to be me giving my time and resources into my relations, the different projects I am involved in and wherever I see a need. This is not going to be an excuse for me to go around my tithing. It is going to be an exception!
January 2nd, 2017: The reaction among friends and family to my project have been different. Different in the sense that I had to evaluate and think through what I actually expect and why I am doing this. It was explained to me from different sources, that Pentacostle’s find (who are very determined about that whole tithing thing), that one is expected to have a sort of overly natural experience with God. That tithing was to be a part of that experience with the Holy Spirit. I must admit that I don’t see Pentecostal’s, Lutherans and whatever all the different trends are called. I see Christians. Christians thinking, experiencing and meeting God differently. Who am I to judge who is right. I only know what I experience to be the right thing and I still believe that God will speak truth into our lives, the more time we spend with him. Regarding tithing, I was challenged this morning in my morning devotion to see things from a different perspective. I don’t think that tithing necessarily has to be a part of life as a Christian. I think it is a beautiful way of acknowledging God as my Saviour – and the fact that I believe God gave me every possibility and every penny that I have gained on this earth. I find it a beautiful way to praise God – giving back some of the things he is giving me. It is important to me to underline that I don’t expect something overtly unnatural to happen. It is important to me to do this – not out of the expectation that something will happen: That you reader will read about miracles. But that I personally will go through a transformation. I want to break with the greed I feel deep inside me – and I see this as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn that money is not everything. In my devotion this morning I was reminded of that God meets the individual differently. Some through blazing, unnatural meetings, some through a small whispering voice, others through something completely different. I am convinced that God will meet me in this. Actually he already has. And I am excited to see where he will strike next and how. But the things I do and the ways I praise God is not ultimately what everyone should be doing as Christians. That is for themselves to decide. Not me. And I will not be judgemental towards those who choose to act differently. Because in the end I believe that we cannot make ourselves deserved of Gods salvation. We only have to believe and let him lead. And I guess in some way, this is where God led me.
January 10th, 2017: This month have truly been a month of reflexion already. I’ve been challenged. Confused. And lastly, reminded of what I want to do this year! This morning during my reflexion time, I was again reminded of the importance of tithing. I was reminded of the initial reasons as to do this (speaking from a personal perspective). I want to be dependent on God. To some that might seem weird. A friend of mine said: “You can do it when you have the means to”. But, truthfully, that is exactly the time for it. Like having kids, there will always be excuses not to have them. There will never really be a “right time”. There will always be some part of me that will say “next month” when it comes to money. Tithing for me has so many levels. So many different reasons. But mainly, this is me, admitting, that I believe God gave me everything I own. And all I can do is give something back. Give him my time. My life. My money. This is me tithing.
January 25th, 2017: So, to conclude January’s tithing goal. This month was a time of being reminded. God has been kindly reminding me of the promise I have made to him. Somewhere in the Bible it said, not to make promises that one could not keep, because one will be held responsible for them. I guess that is my January experience. God has in so many ways held me responsible for the goal I have for 2017 when it comes to my relationship with money. So many times, that I rolled my eyes at God saying: “yes. I know”. Despite of me not tithing this month, he still made things possible for me. Like, money ticking into my bank account. Friends helping me out. With my stubbornness to actually being able to make things go around without a minus at the end of the month. He always did this. Not because I was tithing – actually for some time I haven’t. He has always been there, helping me out. I guess, I only first realised this, because my focus is on money this year. So to sum up, I don’t need tithing as a payment for him to act in my life. Tithing is a way for me to say thank you for him being there with me, despite the fact that I cannot – and never will be able to – give back what he gave me. Tithing is not a reaction to expect a counteraction. To me, you could say it is a counteraction to the reaction God already has given towards me. To the fact that he meets me right where I am. With no expectations what so ever. And praise the Lord for that.