I heard a sermon several months ago where the pastor made the statement that God has provided each of us just enough, just what we need from a financial standpoint. For example, the reason why we have the income we have is because God knows that is an amount that He can trust us with. It is an amount that is just enough. I’ve been mulling over this concept for many months now and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts. First let’s begin with a Bible verse:
This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded: “Gather of it everyone according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, you shall take it, every man for those who are in his tent.” The children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less. When they measured it with an omer, he who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack. They gathered every man according to his eating. Moses said to them, “Let no one leave of it until the morning.” Notwithstanding they didn’t listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and became foul: and Moses was angry with them Exodus 16:16-20 WEB
The above verse is set during the time when Israel was wandering through the desert and the Lord provided them food to eat. As the verse states everyone had just enough and anyone who tried to take more than they needed lost that excess. It was a perfect, Utopian if you will, situation. Nobody was lacking what they needed.
Now, the problem with this is obvious. If you look around the world this Utopian scenario is far from a reality. All around the world there are people who are homeless, starving, orphans, etcetera. How could someone possibly propose this theory of just enough when there are so many people lacking such basic necessities? Honestly this was my biggest struggle in buying into the just enough theory. Then I remembered something, what I believe is the key to this idea.
Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Yahweh God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:9-13 WEB
Sin and the fall is the reason why we don’t have just enough. This isn’t a situation where we should be pointing our finger in blame at God. Instead we should be looking in the mirror and pointing that same finger at ourselves. If we followed the Lords commands to begin with we wouldn’t be in the place we are today
Beyond that though, we don’t even follow His commands post fall. For example, the Bible instructs believers to tithe 10% of our gross income to our local church. As of 2011 we are only tithing 2.3% of our income. How can we possibly feed the hungry, care for orphans and look out for the widows of this world when so little money is coming in? A lot of the suffering that we see around us could be taken care of if we followed even the most basic commands that the Lord has given us.
After all, the command to tithe is not a command given because God needs our money. It is a command given because God knows the needs around us and He has called upon us to be His hands and feet. I believe we’ve been too blinded by the consumerist society around us to realize that God is trying to bless us by asking us to tithe, sacrifice if you will. We have to realize that the tithe isn’t a legalistic mandate created to punish us so that others can benefit. In fact it is actually created to bless us.
According to a study called the State of the Plate, “researchers compared tithers to non-tithers using nine financial health indicators, and found that tithers were better off in every category. Among tithers, for example, 80 percent have no unpaid credit card bills, 74 percent don’t owe anything on their cars, 48 percent own their home and 28 percent are debt free.”
The message is clear, those who tithe actually have better financial situations. It’s counter intuitive but the evidence is there. Gods’ ways of handling money works. Now I understand this is a difficult message to hear but I believe it is pivotal to creating a healthy financial lifestyle. We are the biggest obstacle to the just enough theory. Although, we can have a huge impact in changing this. We have the ability to make the world a better place. There are many things we can do, tithing being just one of them, to affect each others lives for the better. There is no better time to start than today.