Fear is a big motivator. People go to work on time and do what they are told because they are
afraid of losing their job. Most people drive the speed limit (or close to it) because they are afraid of getting a ticket. We don’t say anything to the obnoxious person standing in line behind us at Wal-Mart because we are afraid they might be violent.
We fear that someone is going to steal our stuff; disastrous weather will damage our property; an auto accident will destroy our family; or the doctor will tell us we have an incurable illness. This kind of fear can be paralyzing, keeping us from realizing our potential.
However, fear can also be a good thing. We usually avoid dangerous activities because we are afraid of being hurt. Sometimes we stay away from sinful activities because we fear being caught or exposed. In fact, fear might even start us down a healthy path.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).
According to this Proverb, fear is not the goal. Wisdom is the goal, but fear is the starting point. Therefore, fearing God is a good thing because of where it leads.
If fear can be healthy, then we should seek this kind of fear. You might be surprised to learn one of the ways you can experience this fear.
“You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your
flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.” (Deuteronomy 14:22-23)
Of all things, tithing will help us “learn to fear the LORD your God always” (v.23). Taking your tithe to church on Sunday will put you on the path toward God’s wisdom.
Once you are aware of this truth, is it possible to ever say, “I can’t afford to tithe.” How can you possibly put a monetary price tag on wisdom? In fact, it seems to me that the question is not whether we can afford to tithe, but rather, can we afford to miss the opportunity to tithe?
This seems like a very small price to pay to get on the path toward wisdom.