The robbing incident at Isabella Gardner Museum
One of the greatest robberies in the history happened at Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. Two thieves disguised as police officers arrived at the place and informed the security they were responding to reports of a disturbance in the museum.
Unfortunately, lapse of judgment occurred when the guard on duty broke protocol and allowed the two thieves to go inside through the employee entrance. Moreover, they were able to handcuff the security and his partner in the basement. They took roughly 500 million dollars worth of art—making it the biggest art theft in history.
Sadly, the case remains unsolved. In fact, the museum is offering 10 million dollars reward for any information that directly leads to the recovery of the stolen art.
We’ve seen countless incidents of robbery as reported on TV and newspaper almost every day—robbing banks, jewelry shops, museums, ATM machines, etc. In modern times, expert thieves and computer hackers are stealing one’s identity in order to extract money from their victims. Oftentimes, most financial institutions have to update their security system to combat heists.
Will a man rob God?
But there’s another form of robbing I want to talk about—and it’s more silent and subtle as they neither being reported on TV nor appeared in tabloids. The truth is it happens even inside the church. Yes, it’s robbing God.
During the time of the prophets, the Lord spoke to prophet Malachi when the Jews were in a very low spiritual state. Unfortunately, the children of God have failed to return their tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:10). They were probably guilty of almost every imaginable sin than even the most brilliant and cunning robbers in the world.
Obviously, money can be used for good or evil, and it’s a serious concern for all Christians. Perhaps this is why Jesus spoke about stewardship or money issues in 17 out of the 36 parables.
Three essential principles about tithing
It may even be unthinkable for many of us how robbing God is possible. Can you really rob an omnipotent God? The answer is “Yes,” when you intentionally failed to return your tithes and offerings.
Interestingly, tithing is an integral part of biblical stewardship. While God is more interested to see our hearts, the tithing principle reminds us about our priorities in life.
1.Tithing system protects you from materialism. While tithing is an important element of worship, such practice can also help you to protect yourself from being greedy. It simply means your faith is not anchored on material things that are temporal, but on the Provider.
You are reminded that giving is nobler than hoarding. Do not let your possessions own you. The genuine act of returning tithes helps you to prevent worshiping money as it indicates prioritizing God over material things.
2. Balancing lifestyle and financial support to God’s kingdom. Another form of robbing God is by having an extravagance lifestyle. Many Christians buy a new home, a new car, new furniture and many other luxuries of life. For instance, how can you afford to live in a beautiful house where the house of worship or the church has not been fully constructed?
There is nothing wrong about acquiring things as long as you didn’t forget to support God’s ministry. Sadly, despite of abundance, some believers drop a few coins in the offering bag as some left over. The keyword in this principle is balance. Do not forget to increase your giving, especially when God prospers you.
3. Robbing God deprives us spiritual and material blessing. Some people decided not to be generous due to lack of financial resources. But in robbing God, we also rob ourselves of the joy of giving and of the blessings of being a faithful steward.
Do you want to make God as your financial partner? Why don’t you try to test God’s character? Start giving and you will see how God will open the floodgates of heaven and lead you to a better spiritual and financial stability.
You are expected to be a faithful servant
There is a story of a rich man who wanted to help a poor carpenter and his family. He hired him to build a house and went away on a long journey. The carpenter said, “My boss is away so I can use substandard materials and no one but me will know.” So he builds a cheap and shoddy house.
When the rich man returned the carpenter said to him, “Here is your house all finished according to your instruction.” “Good,” said the rich man, “and here are the keys and the deed. It is yours. I am giving you this house to live in.” Over the years the carpenter grieved for using cheap materials for he had only cheated himself.
Failure to return the tithes and offerings may not ruin your relationship with God right away, but such act can gradually weaken your faith in Him. If you find yourself worried about the future due to financial problems and have failed to give tithes and offerings, why don’t you try to test Him now?
My favorite author Ellen White once said, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”
True wealth consists of what God has entrusted you— your health, your work, your family, your money, your skills and talent, etc. Seek financial wisdom from the Scripture and begin to acknowledge that the Lord owns everything.
Jun Amparo is The Pinoy Legacy’s financial advocate and author of the book OMG! OFW’s Money is Gone. To read more about his articles, visit his blog Richly Blessed Today.
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