I got my budget out and looked everything over. I tweaked the grocery amount, the gas amount, and everything else I could see reasonable.
The last thing I looked at was our allotted Tithe amount. A lump formed in my throat as I thought about not paying it to put that money towards our overdue bill. I reasoned in my mind that we could make it up later. I also knew that not paying it wouldn't mean anyone talking to us about it or no one knocking on our door or calling us to see where our money was....unlike this other bill looming over my head that I need to pay or services would be cut off...No matter how awful it felt, I decided that is what had to be done.
I called the company back, and got a different receptionist this time. I did not tell her the amount the former clerk had asked for. I just said that I was ready to pay my bill. This receptionist quoted the amount that I originally had planned to pay- the amount from the statement in front of me. I qustioned her to be sure that is all I had to pay, and that paying that particular amount rather than the huge amount would indeed be paid in full and not cut off services. She assured me that was correct, and the other clerk must have been mistaken. I happily paid the bill, relieved at the lower amount going out.
Then it struck me. I had grossly compromised my values and beliefs to justify not paying tithe when it was due, and God had supplied anyway. Although it all "worked out", it was just a humbling lesson and reminder to me to pay to the Lord what is due Him out of my first fruits and not what is left over. How can we expect to live in harmony with God when we