Catherine Christiansen led us in an examination of how money reflects our relationship with God. Does money serve us or do we serve money? Catherine cited 1 Tim. 6:6-10 as a key passage:

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Money is not evil, but the love of money more than the love of God is evil. We need a right orientation towards the blessings God has given us. All is His gift, even the labor we bring to acquiring resources originates from Him by his gift of our health, energy, and opportunities. What have we done to deserve such love and grace? Our first response should be gratitude followed quickly by praise.

Catherine also shifted the subject to a second consideration: What does the Bible tell us about giving? She cited Proverbs 3:9, 10:

Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.

Our giving is to be a response from the heart in gratitude for the God’s generosity towards us. The idea of “first fruits” is not to be a legalistic calculation, but an awareness that all is His anyway. God does not need our tithing. Tithing is a discipline that reflects our spiritual maturity in knowing the source of our blessings.