In the summer of 2006, my husband was working as a truck driver. Because he was away from home for about two weeks at a time, the responsibility of paying the bills was primarily mine. His career was such that our income would fluctuate from month to month, so budgeting our finances was tricky.
That July his paycheck was smaller than usual and less than I had planned on. After I had deposited his check, I compared the amount in the bank to our list of expenses due. I concluded that if I paid everything, including our tithing, we would be about $30 short. We were full-tithe payers, having learned our lesson the hard way a few years before when we got behind in paying tithing. Skipping tithing this time was not an option.
I remembered hearing stories of people who wrote their tithing check first when money was tight and then received money by miraculous means. I usually wrote the checks in order of what needed to be mailed that day, so our tithing check was rarely the first one I wrote. But that day I decided I needed to write our tithing check first, knowing that the Lord would provide a way for us to pay our bills.
The following Monday I received word that a community class I’d signed my oldest son up for was canceled, and the $20 check I wrote the month before was being returned. When I balanced my checkbook, figuring back in that $20, I realized I had made a $23 mistake in calculations the week before. In addition, two days later we received a refund check of $36 from our pediatrician’s office for overpayment of a bill. Now, rather than being $30 short, we had almost $50 extra.
The Lord had fulfilled His promise in Malachi 3:8–12 that if we paid our tithing, He would pour out blessings. I know that it is because of our response to follow the Lord’s commandment to pay our tithes first that we were blessed.