Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (Pr 3:5-10)
It is a blessing to give to the Lord. We are blessed by giving (Ac 20:35), and we are blessed as a result of giving (2Co 9:6). God himself delights in our giving (2Co 9:7).
Many people know the beginning of this passage of Proverbs 3, but not many quote it through to the context of honouring the Lord as a result of our trust. To truly honour the Lord with our finances we have to give in a way that requires an engagement of trust, and is not just a token amount from our abundance that can easily be justified by our own understanding. Without faith it is impossible to please God. The kind of giving that really stirs the Father's heart is the kind that comes from faith, that goes beyond what we can easily spare and that genuinely costs us something. I'm not talking about giving irresponsibly, but giving in a way that honours God when we compare what we give to him with what we spend on other things.
Those who keep up to date with the recent comments on this blog will have seen the resurgence in the discussion on tithing. Although not explicitly mentioned, these verses illustrate the principle of tithing. It's not a matter of legalism, but of honour. We honour the Lord in love by giving him the first tenth, even though we could easily give in other ways by leaning on our own understanding. In doing so we trust in his promise of abundant provision.
I seek to honour God with my wealth: by bringing my tithe, giving him the firstfruits of my income that is already his, and by giving to him beyond the tithe in a way that is respectful compared to other things I could spend my money on.
[I also seek to honour the Lord in the way I deal with those who disagree with me on these issues.]