Giving: Investment or Expense? It’s All About Perspective

Today, let’s talk about the best investment known to mankind: tithing.

 Every client I meet with, at some point, will ask,”So, you got any hot stock tips?”  What they are really asking is: “Do you have any investments that can’t lose?”

I have been an investment advisor since 1997, and for the past nearly 20 years I have helped thousands of people invest.  I have worked as hard as I could to make sure that my clients have goals and that we are working towards the achievement of those goals.  Throughout my experiences, I have become pretty quick to understand who will be a successful investor, and who, on the other hand, will not.  You know what it comes down to?  Perspective.  Let me explain…

There are clients I have met with over the years who view investing sort of like they are paying a monthly bill.  By that, I mean they do it as an expense item on their budget.  They do it because they were once told they “needed” to invest.  As a result they come into the investment with a negative mindset.  Because of their perspective on investing, do you think they invest with a large amount of their assets, or a little?  Right, a little.  Then, if you think about someone who comes into investing with a negative attitude, and isn’t bought-in enough to actually even give it a proper chance, guess what is bound to happen to their investment?  At some point, they will see it go down, even if for a short period of time.  Once it goes down, and they are proven right, at least in their own minds, you know what they stop doing, right?  Exactly…they stop investing.

For a moment, I want you to think about the way you give your time, talents, and treasures to “the church”.  (I use parentheses for a reason and I will explain that in a minute.)  When you give to White River Christian Church, how do you view it?  In other words, what is your perspective on giving?  Do you give because you feel pressure? Do you give to show thanks for all that God has given you?  Or, do you give because you are excited to see what happens with the dollars you invest in God’s Kingdom?  Of all of those possibilities, the last one is my hope for this post.  If you want to be a cheerful giver, you have to take your eyes off of tithing as an expense.  You cannot look at giving to the church as a “have to”, instead, it needs to be a “want to”.  If you look at giving with a negative mindset, as mentioned previously, you’ll never feel satisfied with what you give, no matter how much you give.  But, if on the other hand, you changed your view on the why you give, and see it as an investment in the people of our church, ministries, programs, and outreach and collectively, connecting everyone’s life to Jesus, perhaps the way you give would also change.  If you view tithing as an expense…or a line item on your Schedule A, chances are pretty good you’re doing it wrong.  While it is a nicety to have a tax deduction for spreading God’s Kingdom, it is not the reason God asks us to tithe.  Think for a moment, about what happens with the time, talent, and treasures you are giving to our Lord.  Think about the wonderful ways in which you are blessing people’s lives and introducing them to the beauty of a relationship with our Lord, Jesus.

Before we move on, what about those parentheses up there?  When I referenced “the church”, I meant WRCC, but only because that’s our home church.  If you go to any other church, or you have in the past, the topic of tithing is not local to just our pulpit.  It is a topic of conversation in every Bible believing church in the world.  You know why?  Because the Bible says that we are obligated to give back to our God.  He makes it quite clear, throughout scripture, that this is the way He intended it to work.  As we continue our study of Proverbs, let me walk us through a few verses to explain my point…and in fact, bring about another point.

Proverbs 11:24-25, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.  The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

One more verse, to further this point:

Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.  Then He will fill your barns with grain and your vats will flow with good wine.”

See that?  If we honor the Lord with what He has given us, we will be further blessed.  God. Loves. Obedience.

My challenge for you, to line up with the challenge Pastor Phil gave us on Sunday the 15th, is to tithe for the next 90 days.  Be obedient to His word.  Try to change your perspective on tithing…stop seeing it as an expense, or a bill you have to pay…and start seeing it as an investment in the expansion of Heaven.  Think about how God will be using your dollars to introduce as many people to Jesus as possible, and see if it feels just a little more rewarding the next time you pay…I mean, invest…your tithe.


In His name,

Eric J. Wasson

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