Robbing God . . . And Myself
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. Malachi 3:8
When our kids were young, I would take them to the card aisle at a local store and let them pick out a card for their mother’s birthday. Because they couldn’t read, my wife usually ended up with some card with a giraffe on it, telling grandma to Get Well Soon. Though my wife didn’t benefit financially from the transaction, she was still pleased simply by our kid’s act of giving.
This, I think, is somewhat similar to our relationship with God, who throughout the Bible, asks us to return something back to him. Though he has given us everything we have, he asks for a mere tithe, or a tenth, in return.
God certainly doesn’t need my money, but today’s passage suggests that it pleases him when I give and that it’s important for my well-being that I do so. He desires that I live in right relationship to him, following him above all, which means that I should gladly give back to the one who has given me everything. If my life is pointed at me and my way, I will find misery and emptiness in my things. When I follow God, gladly giving back, I will find joy in what I have.
What does this have to do with addiction? What I do with my money is evidence of where my life is truly pointed. If my life is pointed at me and mine, I’ll keep my money and will most certainly return to the misery of following my way. If I truly want to know faith and recovery though, then I must try to follow him in everything, including my budget.
In today’s passage, Malachi says that when we refuse to give to God, we rob him. By demanding that we keep what we have, we refuse to acknowledge where it all came from. In doing so, we rob ourselves of the blessing of a life pointed at him. If we truly follow God above all, it will show, not just in our words, but in our checkbook as well.