The Time Tithe — Intro
I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough time.
Have you ever said one of those? I have. Many times.
We have all complained at one time or another about this very issue. We want to play catch with our kid, but we have to finish that work we brought home first. We want to go on a date with our spouse, but our kids have to get to soccer practice, or dance, or piano, or [insert the millionth other thing]. We really want to go to that Bible study, but we have to cook dinner for the family. We want to grow our business, but we have to finish doing XYZ first. (And I won’t lie… sometimes that “XYZ” is a Netflix show — there’s a reason I’m doing this time tithe, y’all.. lol).
Sound familiar? I could come up with a million excuses (and I have and do, trust me). But the fact of the matter is, that’s exactly what they are: excuses. Because the truth is… we make time for the things we prioritize, just like we make room in the budget for things we prioritize. And at the risk of offending some people.. most of us just have our priorities wayyy out of line.
The Bible makes it pretty clear that our priorities should go as follows:
Job and everything else
Recently, I was reading a book where the author brought up the concept of not having enough time, and she compared it to tithing.
Christians are familiar with the concept of tithing: Give your first 10% back to God so that he can bless the other 90%. When we are struggling with finances, if we are faithful with our tithe, somehow our monies get stretched to fit our needs.
Honestly, my finances are nowhere where I’d like them to be, and they haven’t been in a while. I often wonder how I will pay student loans days before they are due. The feeling is not a good one. But, I continue to tithe (I haven’t always done this… I would prioritize my bills before my God, but that always bit me in the ass). As soon as I get a payment, whether from design, or Young Living, or even what I like to call “the love fee” my mother-in-law graciously gives me for chauffeuring our nephew to school — I give 10% back to God. Even if it’s just $5.00 at a time. And I’ll be honest, it’s not always the first 10, but I do my best to make sure it is. (Sometimes I put gas in my car before I realize I haven’t tithed yet, but as I grow more aware and set my priorities straight, I get better at this.) But the fact is… I always get what needs to be paid for.. paid for. I have NO idea how, but God works it out.
So back to this book where she compares time and tithing. She brings up the point that if we treat our time the same as we treat our earnings with tithings, that maybe just maybe.. God will multiply our time. I love this perspective. And it really challenged me. It had me asking, How much time do I really give to God each day to intentionally build our relationship? The key word being “intentionally.”
Because I thought, I consume IG posts from Christine Caine, Lisa Bevere, Steven Furtick on the reg. I listen to podcasts by them and others, too. I listen to worship music nearly all day every day — while I’m in the car, while I’m cooking, while I’m working. I read devotionals from the Bible app in my phone. And while all those things are good, God really nudged me.
None of those are me setting aside time to intentionally build my personal relationship with Him. This isn’t the first time he’s brought it to my attention.
IG posts, sermons, podcasts… all good, but all things that are produced as a result of someone else’s relationship with God being shared with us. Can God speak to us through a message? Of course he can. But he wants a direct relationship with us (i.e. Each and every one of us getting into the Word of God ourselves, so we can get to know God: his voice, his desires, his intentions).
Devotionals? Kind of the same thing. Someone else’s words crafted together to help assist us, but they usually only contain one or two verses.
Worship music? Good to listen to in the car, while cooking, and while working… but that’s not what it’s purpose is. Worship is our offering to God and a powerful weapon against evil.
All of this to say, it quickly became evident that I don’t consistently build my relationship with God, and when I do.. it’s definitely not for 10% of my waking hours.
So, for the next week, I’m going to intentionally spend 10% of my waking hours (so approximately 90 minutes each day) intentionally building my relationship with God. And I really feel like he made it clear that only three things will “count” as intentionally building our relationship:
Getting in His Word. Hearing messages or reading devotionals doesn’t count, and here’s why: Let’s say I have a friend who personally knows Opera. They talk on the phone and FaceTime every day, and go have coffee together once a week, and go to concerts together, and just do all sorts of things together. They are really good friends. I have never met Opera, but my friend tells me about her all the time. The stories she tells me about her sometimes even resonate or connect with some of the things I’m going through in my life. I have a pretty good grasp of who Opera is as a person, but if she were to call me, I wouldn’t know who it was on the other end of the line… because I have never actually heard her voice, so I definitely wouldn’t recognize it if I did. In fact, I might not even answer…because the number isn’t programmed in my phone. Okay, this analogy is getting deeper than I intended, but you get the point. We have to get in God’s Word if we want to recognize His voice. Hearing about him from someone else won’t cut it. He has things he wants to speak to me directly, that won’t come from anyone else but him. The same goes for you.
Worshipping. For this one, listening passively to worship music while I’m in the car, while I’m cooking, while I’m working… yeah, none of that counts. It must be intentional worship. No eyes on the road, no checking to see if the water is boiling yet, no posting simultaneously on FB. Everything else out of sight, out of mind — the only focus is on glorifying God, thanking him and being in his presence. Nothing else. That’s it.
Journaling. Specifically, journaling to God, whether that’s in a conversational manner or writing down something I feel he is speaking to me.
Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
In this case, the “gift” is time. I’m super excited about this. 90 minutes seems like a long time to dedicate each day, but that is 10%. Like I said… I’m experimenting with this. It feels like I don’t have enough time in a day to get everything done that I would like to get done, and I feel like a big reason why is because I don’t prioritize my time correctly.
Some people will say this is extreme; some will want to join in. If you are someone who wants to join in, let me know in the comments or send me a message via the Contact page. I will be making a group chat or something where we can chat about our individual journeys and encourage each other through the 7-day “Time Tithe” challenge.
Share this post with a friend who you think would benefit from this. We will start Day 1 “officially” on Friday (09/20/19), but feel free to start today (I did). And let me just tell you… Summit has napped better today (allowing me to get more done) than he has in weeks.