Four Word Progress part 6: A Tip For You

The following passage from Malachi says that God promises us things that all the money in the world is powerless to affect.

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith 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." (Malachi 3:10)

Baksheesh

A Persian word essentially meaning gift. Nowadays it just means a tip. How much do we give? Do we give till it hurts? Not in a restaurant, mind you, in life. I've heard of "reverse tithing" where one gives ninety percent of their income to the work of the Lord and keeps ten percent. That's admirable. But it's so easy to give money. Just turn down your spending a bit and give that to the work of the Lord. Hopefully those to whom you're tithing do right by your gift.

"And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3:11)

Cumshaw

That word means the same, but its etymology springs from the Chinese. There are a lot of misunderstood beliefs about prosperity among the different denominations in Christendom. Some people believe it's a sin to be rich. Swiss Author Max Frisch says "Strictly speaking, every citizen above a certain level of income is guilty of some offense." Ouch. I guess it all depends on what you're doing with the wealth God gifts to you. Provided you're tithing, how much do you need to live on? It might be hard for some to scale back to a simpler way of life, but just like the difficulty of choosing to get out of bed when your body screams the opposite, a simpler life brings with it a contentment that money can't buy. You're happy you woke up when you did. God help you. 

"And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3:12)

Pourboire

That one's from the French and it literally means "for drinking". Or a tip for such. Paul said "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18) God's looking, not for our wealth, nor even our possessions. If you feel led to winnow away your physical substance and serve the Lord in that way, by all means, do so. But the last vestige of ourselves, the one that we'll cling to tooth and nail, is our own way. God's looking for that. Maybe we want to give money because we refuse to stop and acknowledge God even once, let alone "in all [our] ways"? (Proverbs 3:6) Rest assured, that part of your life you surrender to God with the right heart intent will be replaced with the power of His Spirit. Again, worth more than all the money in the world. It doesn't matter which nation (or person) does this, they'll be blessed. It's the (super)natural order of things.

Lagniappe

Another foreign word meaning tip, this time from the Spanish. Anyone in the Bible who followed God had their needs abundantly supplied. Don't set your heart on financial wealth. You limit God's hand from blessing you in other ways. Do you have the faith to live off of a sort-of spiritual barter system? It might run counter to the economic model we function under today, but then again, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25) Your taxes, your tithes, your tribute. Whatever it is that you make or acquire is still God's. We don't realize this much of the time, it's just changing hands in a cycle that is more-or-less broken down to the degree of the greed of those in charge. Here's a tip: give from the heart and let God bless you in ways you never imagined.

"And He saw also a certain widow casting in thither two mites. And He said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all. For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury (poverty) hath cast in all the living that she had." (Luke 21:2-4)

God will pay you back.