THE SERVANT GENERAL
"A God Who Hates"
“I hate robbery and injustice” (Is 61:8)
Robbery and injustice are two sides of the same
coin. Robbery is the active taking away of what
belongs to another. Injustice is depriving someone
of what rightly belongs to him. When you point a
gun or a knife at a person and steal his money,
that is robbery. When you give wages below what
is fitting, that is injustice. In both cases, you
take or keep for yourself what does not belong to
When you fail to give a tithe, that is both robbery
God says: “Return to me, and I will return
to you, says the Lord of hosts. Yet you say, ‘How
must we return?’ Dare a man rob God? Yet you
are robbing me! And you say, ‘How do we rob
you?’ In tithes and in offerings! You are
indeed accursed, for you, the whole nation, rob
me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that
there may be food in my house, and try me in this,
says the Lord of hosts: Shall I not open for you
the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing
upon you without measure?” (Mal 3:7b-10a).
Isn’t this situation like that of many of
our members, including our seniors? Even after many
teachings on financial stewardship, they pretend
not to know that they are robbing God when they
fail to give a tithe. Or they give some amount and
call it a tithe, pretending that they do not know
that a tithe by definition is 10% of their income.
When we fail to give a tithe, this is what happens:
1. We are guilty of robbery.
And we rob the very Person who is the source of
all good things in our life. How dare we!
2. We are accursed. All other
areas of our lives might be falling into good
order, and we might be moving forward in holiness,
but if we fail in this aspect, we cannot be considered
good disciples or deserving servants. We are not
holy! Thus we are not blessed but rather accursed.
3. We deprive God of what the
tithe will be used for, that is, food in God’s
house, that is, resources that are used by God’s
people to bring life to others. In thus depriving
God, we are depriving our neighbor, especially
the poor, of what we ought to share with them.
Thus we are guilty of injustice.
4. We deprive ourselves of the
fullness of God’s blessings, of experiencing
the God who cannot be outdone in generosity. When
we return to God, He will return to us. The converse
of course is true. Therefore we reap what we sow.
Further, when God returns, He opens the floodgates,
pouring down blessings without measure. Many fail
to experience financial well-being because they
have not learned this most basic of principles.
When we dare to not give back to God what belongs
to Him in the first place, then we will fail in
other aspects of justice. We become prone to greed
and selfishness. We buy in to the values of the
world, that of materialism, consumerism, dog-eat-dog
competition, and the lust for money and power.
We fail to care for and share with the poor.
What can help us in finally giving a full tithe to
1. Realize that all good things
come from God, even our ability to earn a living
or have a successful business. If just out of
gratitude, we ought to give a tithe.
2. Realize that although all
good things come from God, He is allowing us use
of 90%! Thus, rather than being glum when we part
with the 10%, we need to rejoice that we are left
with so much more. The irony often is that as
people’s incomes increase, they find it
harder to give a full tithe, seeing the larger
amounts involved. For example, one might be tithing
faithfully on one’s salary, but would not
think in terms of giving a full tithe on his retirement
benefit or inheritance. We must never forget that
for every peso we give as a tithe, we retain 9
3. Realize the wonderful work
we are doing as a community. Many marriages have
been saved and many families have been strengthened.
We are defending the culture of life and we are
building communities among the poor. We are helping
build a nation that will be God’s light
to the world. Such is the great privilege we have
from God. But we need to realize that we can hold
back this work by our lack of true financial stewardship.
4. Realize that if we deliberately
do not tithe, we are accursed. What would we like
to hear at the end when we finally face the Lord?
“Well done, good and faithful servant, enter
into your Master’s joy.”? Or “You
are indeed accursed ….”? I shudder
to think what the consequences will be. “Do
not be deceived; neither fornicators nor boy prostitutes
nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards
nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom
of God.” (1 Cor 6:9b-10). What an ungodly
bunch! I would not want to belong there; how about
God hates robbery and injustice. But God loves
you. Turn away from robbery and injustice, so
that you may bring joy to your Father’s
For group discussion in the household:
1. Am I the great pretender? Am I the accursed
2. If you are not yet committed to give a
full tithe, commit to one another the exact
amount you pledge to give to CFC-FFL and your
(March 18, 2010)
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Stewardship - Part 1[PDF]