The phrase “put your money where your mouth is” has been used for ages, but do you know where it originated? Surprisingly, it dates back to ancient Greek mythology. In those times, a coin had to be placed in the mouth of a deceased person to pay the ferryman, Charon, who transported souls across the river Styx to the realm of Hades.
As this burial custom made its way to the United States, some alterations occurred. Instead of placing coins in the mouth, they were placed over the eyes of the deceased. This practice served the dual purpose of paying the toll and keeping the eyelids closed. President Abraham Lincoln had silver dollars placed over his eyes after his assassination, but whether it was to respect the myth or simply to keep his eyes closed remains a mystery.
Now, let’s fast forward to a little country church along the picturesque Talimena Drive on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border. Here, something incredible happened—a preacher named Kelso Knox found himself questioning his faith in tithing. Despite believing in its importance, he couldn’t practice it due to financial constraints. With thirteen children to provide for on a modest salary, it seemed impossible.
However, fate intervened when a member of Knox’s congregation, who happened to be the cousin of an Oklahoma oil billionaire, made him an offer. The cousin, aware of Knox’s predicament, urged him to start giving at least $300 from his salary every month and promised to help if he ever faced a shortage. With this newfound support, Knox embraced tithing wholeheartedly.
To his surprise, Knox discovered that God took care of his needs in unexpected ways throughout the year. He never had to ask for assistance from the billionaire’s cousin. The realization struck him powerfully—by trusting in God’s promises and tithing, his family thrived on a smaller salary of $2,700, rather than struggling with $3,000.
If you’ve experienced the rewards of tithing, you know firsthand that God blesses those who give. It’s almost like a “God deal”—a phenomenon that’s hard to explain but undoubtedly real.
Yet, let’s face it, most of us would prefer a guarantee like the one bestowed upon Preacher Knox. We often find ourselves hesitating to trust that God will provide financial stability, even though we trust Him with our eternal salvation. We question His ability to ensure our financial well-being each month, forgetting that we are more valuable than the birds He feeds (Matthew 6:25-26).
God wants us to “put our money where our mouth is” and show Him that we back up our trust. It’s akin to the story of the poor widow who gave her two copper coins—she demonstrated faith and trust by giving all she had (Mark 12:42-44).
This notion of aligning our priorities with our finances is not new. My Granddad Green, an old-school Baptist preacher, used to say that our checkbooks reveal what’s truly important to us. It’s a message echoed by preachers of various denominations throughout the years. Our spending habits reflect our priorities, whether we tithe or not.
When it comes to faith and money, there’s a significant distinction between faith about money and faith that encompasses money. We might have faith that Jesus will bring victory over death, but we hesitate when it comes to trusting Him with our financial needs. Take a moment to ponder the stories of Gideon and Joshua, who demonstrated unwavering faith in seemingly impossible situations. They were rewarded with miraculous victories because they believed in what God could do (Judges 7, Hebrews 11).
Thanking God in advance is a key principle for successful faith and answered prayers. It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Our faith determines what God can accomplish in our lives. As the Bible says, “According to your faith, let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). We have the power to choose the level of blessings and answered prayers we receive. Our faith unlocks the thousands of promises found in the Bible.
Today, let’s express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father and acknowledge the blessings He provides. Remember that these blessings enable us to be a blessing to others. Let’s increase our faith and trust in God, knowing that He will provide for our needs. Start each day by demonstrating faith in Him and thanking Him in advance for the money, health, wisdom, and all the provisions He bestows upon us. As we enter Advent, a season of anticipation and faith, let us live by faith and expect the best.
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