God Is Faithful
Being one of the six people selected from among 6,000 applicants for employment in a top-class organization was an evidence of grace. Working with a post-graduate education and as a chartered accountant gave me hope of a bright career. So, I started off well, but down the line my standard of living moved southward, even though I was still working in the same organization. It was in this condition that I met my fiancée (now my lovely wife), who could not reconcile my poor financial condition with my evident potential. Upon inquiry, she found out that I was not faithful in tithing.
The reason I gave for being unfaithful in tithing was that I had a lot of problems, including taking care of my very sick mother, which made my good job appear inadequate for my needs. In my mind, I actually blamed God for allowing problems in my life and for not giving me enough income to cope with them. My fiancée was very displeased with me, concluding that the reason for my irreconcilable situation was that I was unfaithful in returning tithes and giving offerings (unknown to me then, she was right; see Hag. 1:6-11). She said in very strong terms, “If and when we get married, never use the tithe money, even if it is the only money in your hand, to meet my childbirth expenses. Go, return your tithe and leave me in the hands of God” (see Mal. 3:6-12, NKJV). I was greatly challenged by this and decided to trust God by giving to Him from my supposed “inadequate” salary.
The following month, when I received my salary, I quickly wrote a check for my tithe and kept it in my drawer, waiting for the next Sabbath. But I forgot it at close of work on Friday and remembered only when it was time for offertory during church service. Shocked by my forgetfulness, I rushed back to my office, got the check, and got back only after the service was over. I was determined, so I went to the church office, met the team counting the money, and gave them my check. They thought I could have waited until the next Sabbath, but nevertheless, they prayed for me. I had peace in my heart for doing the right thing, even though I was not sure how I was going to cope financially until the next payday.
That night, two of my relatives, residing about 1,000 kilometers from me, were awakened with a burden to support me financially in taking care of my mother. The next Monday, immediately following the Sabbath, they brought to me an amount of money that was thirty times more than the tithe I had given.
God is always faithful, and I think He wanted to be dramatic in proving this to me. And I got the message: “God First” can never fail you because God is faithful. Each sacrificial giving opens new doors of blessing. God owns everything, but He responds with blessings when we give to Him in obedience and reverence.
This story is by Elder Emmanuel Okpechi; edited and submitted by Jallah S. Karbah, Sr., director of Stewardship Ministries for WAD.