Week 1 Tithe Challenge

Week 1 – Understand that Tithing is a Test

What is the Purpose of a Test?

“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
1 Peter 1:7 NLT

 With the exception of a few know-it-alls, most people hate tests. Tests have a tendency to raise your blood pressure, give you anxiety and stress and make your hair fall out. Sounds like fun right? So why must our lives be ruined with tests? Or maybe a better way to put it is this, “what is the purpose of a test?” Tests are simply a means for evaluation. The purpose is to give a critical examination or evaluation to discover whether someone or something is deemed acceptable or unacceptable.  A test is the proof that you learned, understand or are capable of what is required for your advancement. In school if you want to pass a grade you have to go through testing to see if you learned the appropriate skills necessary to graduate to the next grade level. The test will determine whether or not you comprehended what the teacher was teaching and therefore tests are necessary to open the door for advancement. We hate tests but we love advancement.
We all recognize that advancement is good, but the problem is the struggle to comprehend the content for a test. Many times you go into a test unsure of yourself. After the test is over the teacher will clearly let you know with a pass or fail grade.  If you fail the test you now know that you didn’t understand it. If you pass the test you just gained a lot of confidence and are no longer afraid to talk about that subject because you passed the test.
People generally fail tests for one of two reasons. They either genuinely don’t understand or they don’t pay attention to their teacher’s instruction. If you have a desire for advancement you will ask the teacher for a chance to retake it. You might ask for tutoring or special instruction time with the teacher. Why? Because you want to learn what is necessary to advance!
When people graduate school they often rejoice because they don’t have tests anymore, but that just isn’t true. Life is full of tests. And our faith journey is full of tests. God teaches us Faith 101 and until we pass it we don’t start the next class. Instead of appreciating these tests or studying hard and asking for tutoring we just get mad that God doesn’t just pass us anyway.  We should thank Him for His grace to teach us how to get to the top, and His grace to start us with easy tests, but usually just we just complain.
Christians often stay back in the faith and repeat the same lesson over and over again because they don’t listen to their instructor or study for life’s tests. Even at an elite school with the finest teachers, students still have to listen and study, so why would the faith be different? Christians often just want to claim victory by association but they fail to take to the time and effort to understand the benefits of that relationship. Over the next couple weeks we will talk about some of the tests God takes us through and it is our prayer that you will embrace the opportunity to learn and comprehend God’s plan so that you can advance in your faith and effectiveness for God’s kingdom.  Is it really a pop quiz if you are warned there will be a pop quiz? If you listen and do your homework there is no reason to fear the tests!