My journey as a Christian mom and entrepreneur has always been an open-book. I have zealously talked about giving Tithes and how that changed my whole perspective about life in general, especially my faith in God. During my recent visit to Manila, I had the greatest honor to share my testimony and speak about God’s faithfulness in honoring those who practice tithing and do so cheerfully. That experience has inspired me to reach out and encourage even more people to practice Faithful Giving. I am hoping that through this blogpost, I would be able to do that.
A life verse and a ‘life-saver’
’BRING the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” – Malachi 3:10
The first time I heard about “giving Tithes” (10% of your income is to be given to your local church, Leviticus 27:30), was from when I was doing facials on my client Dona Delos Reyes at a spare room (in a salon) that I leased as a newbie- esthetician. I was barely making enough at the time, so I felt a bit conflicted with the idea of having to set aside a portion of my income to give to church.
“Test the Lord on this..”, I recalled her saying.
Dona continued sharing the Gospel to me, as she has been doing so since she started coming for her usual facials. That woman would not miss an opportunity to bring up God’s Word to me. She would always ask me about my Tithing and how I was growing with the Lord. Looking back, I am so glad she did.
When the Lord sends people for His will…
I must admit, learning about Tithing definitely felt like a challenge. Back then I was a struggling entrepreneur offering facial services for as little as $45 (sometimes, $35); I was giving out flyers and leaving them on the windshields of parked cars. I was making $500 a week so taking out 10 percent off it to give to church was, I had to say, a difficult decision to make. So I hesitated. Instead of $50, I reluctantly offered $30 and told myself, “maybe that’s enough.”
A few more Sundays rolled by and I, albeit feeling convicted, would give $40 or $3o for Tithes, but still not $50 (which is 10 percent of what I earn weekly) This went on for a year or so, and every other week my client would ask me whether I’ve started Tithing and would remind me of the Lord’s promises.
It was not by accident that I’ve met a such tenacious Christian who, I truly believe, was sent by God to encourage me to listen to His Word. While reading the Bible is how we learn of God’s Nature and His promises. He also uses our experiences to teach us. And when this “gentle nudge” from the Lord is not enough, He sends people our way to somehow lead us to the right direction.
“ The Lord loves a cheerful giver…”
One Sunday, I turned to the Bible and there it was: 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
I recounted those times I have not been a ‘cheerful giver’ and realized that while was holding back, my financial situation also remained stagnant. And that was when it dawned on me as I prayerfully said, “I want to fully give what the Lord commands and I want to do it because I want to know Him more and follow Him.” Suffice to say, I had a change of heart. I knew then that I wanted to “seek God’s Face” and not just “His Hand” for blessings –– because I love the Lord.
When the Lord opens “windows…”
It took me a year before I have fully opened up my heart to God and trust Him completely. As I started with Tithing, I was also seeing my priorities change, my attitude and mindset. And while the Lord is changing me, He is also showing me His Faithfulness by opening windows upon windows of opportunities. Not only did my business flourished by having my own Spa 2 years later and eventually launched my own skincare line, I also signed up with ABS CBN International to star in my own TV Beauty Segment (which ran for 11 years), and most especially – after five years of trying to conceive – The Lord gave us a daughter, who we named, Faith.
Dream BIG because we have a BIGGER GOD.
While I was vacationing in Korea with my family, I opened my window and looked in the sky. I prayed to the Lord about my dream for my skincare line to reach the global market. I don’t know how to make that happen but I know the Lord knows more than I can ever imagine. I even told Him, “Lord, I know that this seems like an impossible dream, but with YOU, nothing is impossible for you are GOD. I leave it all to you…” Two months later, my phone rang. It was the Miss Universe Organization asking me if my skincare line would be the official skincare partner of the Miss Universe Pageant. And the rest, as they say, is history.
One thing I learned from that experience is to not limit yourself in asking God for what you truly want. The Lord says, “ask and you shall receive,” and that’s what I did. He has given me not just the “world,” for an audience, but “the whole universe” to take care of. When the MUO (Miss Universe Organization) asked me fly out to Georgia for an exclusive access to the delegates as their skincare coach throughout the competition, I was once again reminded of my humble beginnings and how the Lord raised me up.
Remember, if God was able to give “His Only Begotten Son” to save us (John 3:16), what could possible be too big for Him? We are talking about the “Lord of Lords” and the “King of Kings” who is all-omnipotent.
Five ways to train yourself how to give cheerfully:
As Christians, we all have different timelines and sanctification stages according to the Lord’s will. Yet His timing is always perfect. While I had to wait a year before finally surrendering everything to God and fully obey Him, I strongly encourage everyone not to delay obedience because “Delayed Obedience is Disobedience.”Do it now. Follow Him. Seek His righteousness. Obedience is key to the many blessings the Lord has in store for His children. The Lord blesses obedience and I am living testament to this.
Tithing is easier said than done. Here are some ways you can train yourself to give cheerfully.
- Pray. Tithing is more of a heart issue than one with dollar signs attached to it. Pray for wisdom and the will to surrender everything to the Lord.
- Fill your mind with God’s promises by reading the Bible. You will be amazed at how much the Bible talks about God’s providence and faithfulness.
- Remind yourself that Tithing isn’t for God’s benefit. He doesn’t need our money. Tithing is meant for us trust God to meet our needs.
- Remember God’s goodness. God’s blessings are not limited to just monetary. He blesses you with wisdom, good health, wonderful relationships, fulfilling opportunities and so much more.
- Encourage others to give. Sharing your testimony to others reinforces your own conviction. It inspires you and your listeners.