On June 22, 2017, NFL Quarterback Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. With this contract, Carr set the record for the NFL’s highest annual pay to date at $25 million. When I heard about his new contract, I thought, “What would be the first thing I would do with that kind of money?”
What would you do?
A reporter asked Derek Carr that question. And here is his response: “The first thing I’ll do is pay my tithe like I have since I was in college getting $700 on a scholarship check. That won’t change. I’ll do that…the exciting thing for me money wise, honestly, is that this money is going to help a lot of people. I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands, because it’s going to help people—not only in this country but a lot of countries around the world.”
Carr’s candid and refreshing response reminded me why I made the decision many years ago to be fully committed to tithing. It is not about the money; it is about obedience and what God can do with the money. It is about the people who will be impacted for eternity. When you have that perspective, tithing becomes easier and natural.
Over the course of my career since graduating from college in 1997, I have changed jobs several times. With each change came a salary change. Sometimes, it went up, and other times it went down. No matter the salary, I am going to tithe like I always have done.
Sometimes tithing presented a financial challenge for my family. I have to admit I have been tempted not to tithe at times. I vividly remember sitting in front of my computer with my checkbook in hand, thinking of ways I could use the tithe money to pay this bill or that bill. But I continued to tithe, and God continued to bless and provide in remarkable ways. I have never missed a bill or a meal as a result of tithing. God rewards those faithful to Him in His way and time.
I also have learned over the years that giving the Lord what is His already is not intended to be a burden but a blessing. God is not trying to rob us of the joy of spending our money. Rather, He wants us to experience the joy of tithing and the peace that comes from trusting Him to take care of us. That is His specialty.
Whether we have been tithing faithfully for 50 years or 50 days, whether we struggle to tithe or do it automatically, we must remember tithing is not losing but gaining. We gain the joy of honoring God, helping others, exhibiting God’s heart, demonstrating the Lord’s salvation, advancing His kingdom, and trusting His provision. When that is our perspective, we will experience the reality that tithing is a blessing, not a burden.
**Adapted from ONE Magazine