Does Strife + God Make Sense?

I just found out that the person who first trained me at my current job has decided to leave the company after her position was eliminated. Supposedly, the parent company did try to offer some other position(s), but she didn’t feel it was right for her.  In her email to all of us saying goodbye, she quoted this verse:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 … “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Well, she quoted Jer 29:11, but I like the next part as well. It seemed to fit our own situation perfectly. You see, we recently started attending church after a year (give or take) of not going due to work schedules.

Here’s what’s more interesting. I got my “V8” moment in August 1997. That’s when I accepted Christ in my life. Things were looking pretty grim on the financial homefront. We then tried a church that completely freaked Greg out because it was pretty contemporary. What I didn’t care for is that they required children to go to separate classes and not attend church with us, which was equally traumatic for them. Soon after, we were presented with the opportunity to move into Greg’s sister’s house free of rent to “house sit” while they were temporarily transferred to another state. What a great opportunity to get our finances sorted out and save for a new house.

We found a Presbyterian church near that house and started attending and tithing what we could (more on that in a bit). Before we knew it, Greg was offered a promotion, which meant relocating to Denver! Thank you, Jesus!

Cut to recent events after all this time not gathering in His house and leaning on Him. We’ve had a lot of crap handed to us with Greg’s job loss and the medical issues we’re dealing with that I still can’t go into detail on (but would love to for the support)! After the first week of being in prayer and gathering in His name again at Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, Greg was referred for a job running the Denver operation of a transportation company (name withheld for now). Yes, running it! No boss hanging over him here. After our second week of leaning on the Lord, Greg has now had his first and second interviews for this company. We are cautiously optimistic at this point.

This is where the honesty comes in when I reveal that I’m also cautiously optimistic about religion. It’s true! My walk may be closer by His side again, but I haven’t fully let Him carry me. I can’t explain my feelings about the whole thing. I’ve been told that it’s not about feelings; it’s about faith. I’m bad at that part! You’d think that the evidence would be clear to me at this point looking at the history outlined above, right? It does have my attention at least. I’m trying.

I said I’d mention more about tithing, so here it is… What I don’t understand is how God will take care of the rest if you give Him your “first fruits”. If we gave 10%, we would default on debt payments and end up in trouble with them, which is very, very bad! Am I to believe that if I gave 10% of my income in tithing that my debt would miraculously disappear? I don’t think the credit card companies were sent that memo. For those who have been wise with their money, I absolutely believe tithing would not be a difficult thing to do. That’s really all I have to say about that. We will do what we can.

Before I could even finish this post, Greg walked in to tell me they had already called him back and offered him the job! He starts on Monday! They are putting together all the details to email to him this afternoon. I guess now I can tell you where … Matheson Postal Services. It’s very near UPS in Commerce City, so no change in commute.

Times of strife were small potatoes while we were “religiously” attending church and tithing what we could. When not attending, that strife was more like two ton boulder sized potatoes. I’d say that’s enough to make me pay more attention to the path I’m supposed to be walking instead of trying to make my own path.

Darcy Elliott

I don't believe humans truly have a purpose. Our goal is to survive until we expire. Period. Joy is pleasurable and worrying is not. Balance in life is crucial; but if the scales must tip, may they tip on the side of joy. I’m just another human trying to survive. I blog because I can and because I enjoy it, not because it serves any purpose.


  • Let me just say that the money seems to last longer when you are setting aside money for the Lord. I struggled with this too but started small and then increased the amount we are giving gradually. The trick I play on our checkbook is to “hide” the money. I subtract the giving money when I put the deposit in the checkbook and start an internal account. Then the money is there when I write the check. When I started doing this, the money seemed to last longer- God at work. At the end of the year, we always spend what is left in the “tithe” account. Remember things aren’t always black and white when you are dealing with God, He has his own accounting system 🙂


    • I just want to throw it out there again that I do understand all of this. The point I’m trying to make is in defense of those who haven’t been so wise with their money and haven’t lived by a budget. These people are now obligated to repaying creditors for their misguided purchases. OR… those who have suffered job loss and lengthy unemployment. OR… those who have mounting medical bills for whatever reason. People who are barely getting by on bare necessities because that’s all they can afford. I wonder how many of them stop going to church at the mere mention of tithing because they feel bad that they aren’t giving more (or at all).

      Most people who ARE wise with their money also tend to live more within their means – and by a budget. Whether a person is tithing or not, living by a budget will make the money seem to “last longer” because you’re being smart. 😉


  • We should keep in mind when portioning out our money, that all things come from God, and our response to what Jesus did for us is to honor him by doing his will in all things. We do charitable and kind things as a response to what Jesus did for us. We are to “give back” to God not the leftovers after we spend our paycheck but an honest return to him of what is his to begin with. If we toss $5 in the plate each week and go to casinos and gamble $300 a week away, that is not a proper response to God. Does that mean we should give everything left over after absolute necessities are paid for? Some do. It’s up to the individual. Most do not. Giving back to God comes in many forms, not just dropping money in the Sunday plate. Do you donate to food pantries? Charities? Do you do community work? Clear the older neighbor’s driveway in snow? All of that is giving back to God. Since Christ came, we are no longer under the law of the Old Testament. We are not mandated to tithe, fast, abstain from pork or shrimp as the Jews were. Tithing for you might mean putting an extra $2 in the Sunday plate and not doing a Starbucks coffee one morning.


    • This is exactly right! Of course we are to tend to our absolute needs, but to say we can’t tithe because there’s a fancy new gadget we want to buy or a big vacation we want to go on is just dishonest. When I was singing with worship teams, I absolutely considered that part of my giving back. We are also to use our talents to serve the Lord.


  • Tithing ended when the Levitical priesthood ended per Hebrews 7:5,12,18.

    The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

    Firstfruits have nothing to do with the tithe.

    Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

    2 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

    When was the last time you heard a pastor say that you should spend the FIRST part of your income on yourself and your family?

    1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

    The New Testament makes it clear that we are to use the FIRST of our income to take care of ourselves and our family. We are talking about needs, here, not just anything we want. Then we should give generously from what is left.


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