9. Giving to God.

It was once said that the wallet is the "last frontier." It is the final area to be conquered -- the last thing that comes to God in surrender. Jesus spoke much about money. He said that we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). The word "mammon" was the common Aramaic word for riches, which is akin to a Hebrew word signifying "that which is to be trusted." In other words, we cannot trust God and money. Either money is our source of life, our great love, our joy, our sense of security, the supplier of our needs -- or God is.

When you open your purse or wallet, give generously and regularly to your local church. A guide as to how much you should give can be found in the "tithe" of the Old Testament -- 10% of your income. Whether you give this amount or not, make sure you do give something to the work of God (see Malachi 3:8-10). Give because you want to, not because you have to. God loves a cheerful giver (2Corinthians 9:7), so learn to hold your money with a loose hand.

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