Because we had arrived in Oklahoma early, and were working the early part of summer, I had some business cards, and fliers printed advertising; we do roofing and repairs.
The next block near our house seemed a good place to do some door to door. I planned my speech, “Hi we are your neighbor and I would like to leave this business card and flyer with you. Please call us if we can be of assistance.”
So far so good, and I went on to the next house.
I was met by a young gentleman and his two children. He exclaimed, “I know you, we went to the same church in Oakland, California.”
Several years had passed, but now it was all coming back to me. He invited me in, and was almost in tears as he began to pour out his sad story. To have more income, his wife had taken a waitress job, and met someone, who she said, “Made her feel real special,” and now they were getting a divorce. WOW! Was I shocked and surprised.
I asked him if they had been attending church, or if they had some spiritual council.
No. he related, they had not been serving the Lord at all, but he did want to make a new start for himself. I offered to pray with him to re-consecrate his life to the Lord, and suggested that he begin to attend a certain church near by.
Yes, I remember this couple well. In Oakland, they had been faithful church members, but one day, they announced that they would no longer be attending church. “We can’t afford to attend church,” they continued, “We have just bought a house.”
They reasoned, “Because all our money will be needed for the house, we cannot afford to tithe.” They concluded that having made this decision, to stop tithing, they could no longer afford to attend church.
The board members set out to visit them, and encourage them not to drop out of church, for what ever the reason.
“No, they declared, “We have made our decision, and that is that.” The board members told them that they hoped they would change their mind and reconsider, but as the board members left they felt they had lost the battle.
Many times, in life, I have used the phrase, “I can’t afford it.” The truth was, I could afford it, but in the long run, it would be a luxury that would prove to be a liability.
“I Can’t Afford it,” are words, that we should shout, when we are tempted to quit serving God, to stop attending church, to not read our Bible, and even to stop giving of our tithes to the Lord. Say it again, “I Can’t Afford not to. . .”
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.