by Crystal Barry with Dave Franco | March 10, 2019

My husband, Adam, and I have been tithing regularly for many years. But it wasn’t until we took the RFL class at the Rock, that we learned that our perspective on tithing had been completely wrong. You see, we had always tithed on our paycheck after taxes had been taken out.

And why shouldn’t we?

Net was the money we were receiving, right? Not the gross amount. But we were missing a key detail, one that changed everything for us. God tells us a tithe is the first fruits of our harvest. Which means if we are tithing on the net, the US government is getting the first fruits of our harvest, not God. God is essentially getting the leftovers.

And so Adam and I took a long hard look at the number sitting at the line that said, Gross Pay, and decided that number was our only hope of giving God what was truly his—our first fruits.

Of course it wasn’t without a little fear and a few hard gulps. Walking out to the end of our financial plank is no easy feat. But we knew we had to do it.

As I arrived at the bank to withdraw a nice, big fat check that I was to put in the offering plate that Sunday, a flurry of thoughts blew through my mind like somebody suddenly swung open a door on a windy day. “Wait a minute—what are we doing?” I thought. “We could pay off student loans with that money. We could go on vacation. We could get our cars in shape. We can fix some broken things in the house.”

I sat there in the bank parking lot for a moment with my car turned off. My hands were on the wheel with my head still shaking when a strong conviction came over me. This was God’s money. Not ours. If He wants us to tithe off of the gross, then He’ll want to bless us off it too.

This was God’s money. Not ours. If He wants us to tithe off of the gross, then He’ll want to bless us off it too.

I walked into the bank and made the withdrawal.

That night as I heard Adam arriving home and parking the car, I knew he was going to have a lot to tell me about his goings-on at work that day. It was his birthday and his company gets a big kick out of throwing a pretty good party.

“Guess what?” he said excitedly as he walked in. “You know how everybody who has a birthday gets to spin the wheel for prizes?”


“Well, guess who spun and won today?”


“And guess how much I won?”

Adam’s spin had landed on the exact amount, to the penny, that we had agreed I would withdraw from the bank that day—for giving to God.

If that wasn’t confirmation that we were on the right track, I don’t know what is.

Today, I have had to give up my job so that I can stay home as we raise a family, which means our finances are tighter than they have been. One income versus two. But we always have the image of a spinning wheel to go back to—God’s little reminder to say, "I got you."

And I know, by watching in my mind’s eye that spinning wheel slowing down ever so specifically, He does.

For more information about Rock Financial Life, click here.


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