God has been speaking to me a lot lately about the importance of promise keeping, and how those who do not keep their promises to God are cursed. Verses like this one keep coming to my attention: “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” (Eccl. 5:4-5 ESV)
God has also been speaking to me about generosity, and knowing that a new monthly sum of money would soon begin coming in, I told God I would put aside 20% for the Lord.
Then reality hit. When the money finally came in, a significant amount that had been withheld for taxes, leaving the sum far short of covering the extra monthly expenses! Surely God wouldn’t require the 20% I had promised when I was short so much! Surely He would be happy with … say … 15%?
Of course I was planning on giving God 15% of the net income … I hadn’t specified gross income vs net income, right?
Well no, but I had the gross mount in my mind when I made that promise… Wait, no! I can’t give God 15% of the gross income! Let alone 20%!
But I had promised it to God, so I dutifully set aside 15% of the gross income, rationalizing that this was more than 20% of the net income and since I hadn’t specified…
A day went by, and every time I thought about this, I could hear God’s Spirit whispering to me the words of Eccl. 5:4-5. Finally I — a bit grudgingly — reset the amount for God to represent 20% of the gross amount. I didn’t know how the monthly expenses would be covered, but I knew I had to do what I had promised God to do.
It was only about 30 minutes later when the call came in. One of my expenses, a special service for my husband who has dementia, was now available to him for free of charge! The total amount I would be saving was three times the addition amount I had set aside for the Lord…
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8 NIV)
In His love,
Moderator, Author, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries