Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for with the measure you give will be the measure you get back. (Luke 6:38)
A few years ago, I attended a retreat where I was really touched by the talk on tithing. I was pretty familiar with the concept but always wondered how I would be able to do it willingly. St Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians that
God loves a cheerful giver; (2 Cor 9:7)
but putting this into practice meant letting go of part of my monthly salary, something that was pretty hard to do.
The part of the talk that really struck me was a line that said
tithing is giving back to God that which belongs to Him. (Mark 12:17)
This belief was only strengthened when I joined the CFCI-Singles community in the Porvorim Chapter where I heard a similar talk again. By this time I had begun working so it was time I put the talk into action.
I am a teacher by profession and teachers in Goa have an odd system of payment. Temporary teachers get paid only after a year or more of working. I was in a similar situation, with no hope of getting paid anytime soon. Tithing therefore seemed out of question. But I kept praying, telling God I could really do with the money. To my utter surprise, after 6 months of my contract I got the entire amount of my salary. It was unexpected but I believe it was the decision that I took to tithe that God honoured. I tithed joyfully with my first salary.
When the time came to find a new job, I looked to the teaching line, again with no hope of getting paid for a year. However I was in for a pleasant surprise. After around 4 months I got my salary deposited in my account and the amount was way more than I expected. Once again, I was faithful to my tithing. Since I got paid for every month of the previous year, I was able to manage my finances with ease.
St. Matthew writes in his gospel that
if we are faithful over small things, God will be faithful over much more. (Matthew 25:23)
This proved true when the time came to look for another job. This time however, it was no longer temporary, but a permanent one. I truly believe that it was due to my faithfulness to tithing that God blessed me so abundantly.
This entire experience has led me to believe that our God is truly a faithful and generous God. I can say with certainty that
my God will satisfy every need of mine according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)