Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10)
This verse contains the great blessing that comes with paying tithing—that there will not be room enough to receive the blessing poured out. However, if we also look at it from the perspective of de-cluttering, it teaches another principle—the necessity of being able to perceive when there is “not room enough.” Finding there is not room enough is an invitation to give away the surplus and be blessed further.
These days many people are not able to tell that they have no room to receive more. They live their lives with homes stuffed with goods that are not important enough to the way they are living their lives now. This verse gives us the hint that an indirect blessing of paying tithing is that we will begin to discern what we need and what we don’t and be able to tell when we have been given more than we are able to receive. If we are able to tell the difference between what we can receive to make use of and what we don’t have room to receive, we will be able to de-clutter, our lives will be simpler, and our possessions will be streamlined in a manner that will really facilitate our lives of discipleship rather than inhibiting us.
How does tithing help us do this? When we pay tithing, we learn it is possible to live with what is left over. It gives us a chance to cultivate greater efficiency in our expenditures. That skill of efficient use can spill over to other parts of our stewardship, such as considering how our space is used and whether the things we have that fill up our space are really serving us as they should. Paying tithing takes practice, and de-cluttering takes practice too. Paying tithing gives us practice in sacrificing, so it will be easier for us to let go of what we don’t need when we de-clutter.