As the pandemic continues, many people are taking a break from tithing to the church. But Steve Cook says we should tithe no matter what our circumstances or finances look like. Here he shares the benefits of giving 10 percent to God.
The pandemic has hit churches hard. A lot of congregants have stopped attending in-person services and are no longer tithing. Many are feeling stretched financially. But even those who have not lost income worry about what the future might bring and are tightening their belts.
Steve Cook says COVID-19 is no excuse to stop giving back to God. Pandemic or not, everyone is in a position to tithe.
“Plenty of people have told me ‘It’s easy for you to tithe; you have a lot of money,’” says Cook, author of Lifeonaire: An Uncommon Approach to Wealth, Success, and Prosperity (Lifeonaire Promotions, LLC, 2018, ISBN: 978-0-9863228-7-7, $14.99). “I always respond by saying something that I wholeheartedly believe: ‘I have money because I tithe.’ Tithing is a choice that we can all afford to make.”
Cook, a life and business coach, speaker, trainer, and author believes we should give back to God before we do anything else with our money. He says tithing is choosing to give the first of our fruits, not what is left over.
“Throughout the years I have helped many people with their finances, and those who struggle the most tend not to be tithers,” says Cook. “I believe this is one of their biggest problems. They would argue that they don’t tithe because they are not in a position to tithe. I would argue that they believe they are not in a position to tithe because they don’t tithe.”
All that said, Cook firmly believes God gave us tithing as a gift. Here’s why:
First, tithing forces us to live within our means. Doing this gives you more choices, says Cook. Instead of keeping up with the Joneses you can reduce your unnecessary spending and live a life you can actually afford. Cutting out everything you don’t need leaves you with excess funds that you can give, save, and spend. Plus, it offers you the chance to live a more simple and relaxed life that focuses on family and doesn’t revolve around money troubles.
Tithing is a commitment between you and God. Sticking to that commitment empowers you to manage your money well, even when it is scarce. It is not something we do once in a while or whenever we happen to have extra funds. Cook says that if you are serious about your commitment, you won’t make other commitments that you cannot honor. You will take time to consider whether or not you can take on another monthly payment if it may compromise your ability to honor your commitment to God.
“Regardless of how much money you make, you should stick to this commitment,” says Cook. “You don’t need a miracle to give the first 10 cents of every dollar you make. You just have to do it. If you find this difficult, it’s because you are paying others first and then hoping to have money left over to give to God. While I can sympathize with people who are struggling with this decision, it doesn’t nullify that tithing is a choice to give from our first fruits or not.”
Tithing teaching us to have faith and let go. This brings us greater abundance. When we hold on to everything as though it is ours, we live with a scarcity mentality. But God is not scarce. He desires for us to have an abundance and that starts with having an abundance mindset.
“You can’t experience abundance if you are always holding on tight to everything,” says Cook. “When you recognize that God is abundant and let go of scarcity, He can move in and through us in amazing ways. He can replenish and refresh. He can fill us with incredible peace and joy. Letting go is an act of faith. We need to trust that He will do the things He said He will do.
It leads to miracles in your life…and a closer walk with God. When we are being obedient and handling our resources the way God expects us to, He blesses us in ways that we can’t explain. Supernatural things begin to happen in our lives. This doesn’t always equate to us receiving more money, but you won’t care about that when you get to be part of the incredible things God is doing.
“When you are free from the bondage of money and no longer mastered by it, you will be a servant to God,” says Cook. “You will become aware of the things which are actually not so small when you recognize that God is behind them. He will bless you with opportunities that you couldn’t see before because your focus was not on Him. There is nothing greater than being a part of His plan and actively participating it.
The bottom line: Even if you are only attending church right now via livestream—or avoiding it altogether until it is safer to worship in person—it still pays to give 10 percent to God.
“If you have resisted tithing for any reason in the past, try embracing it now and see how your life changes,” concludes Cook. “Putting trust in God blesses us with the good things only He can give.”
To learn more, please visit https://lifeonaire.com.
Steve Cook is the founder of Lifeonaire, an author, coach, real estate investor, speaker, father, and husband. He has a passion for teaching, giving, and his faith. After two failed restaurant ventures in 1998, Steve hit rock bottom and lost everything. With no money and nothing but a strong will to succeed, Steve turned to real estate investing, and his efforts were met with an uncommon success.