• Calli Newberry

A lesson in tithing

Last month, I interviewed a guy named Alex Taylor. He’s the 21-year old founder of Orb Aerospace, an eVTOL company based in Michigan that is on its way to quite literally changing the world. Look it up. He has an incredible story.

In doing more research for the story I was working on, I listened to another interview he had done earlier in the year in which he said something that’s stuck with me ever since.


He said sometimes we try to pay God off. We tithe with our finances, but what about with our time? What does it look like to give God 10% of our time?

That’s 2.5 hours per day. Some days I barely find 20 minutes to workout, let alone spend 2.5 hours with the Lord.


That really challenged me. Prior to graduating college and entering “the real world,” I never really had an actual full-time job, which meant two things: I had a lot of free time and not a lot of income. It was easy for me to spend time in Bible studies or doing devotionals or serving others. I was great at giving God my time because that’s all I really had.


But now that I’m working a weird conglomerate of jobs that keeps me working more than full-time hours, it’s easier for me to, as Alex said, “pay God off.” And I never really thought that’s what I was doing until I head him say that.


During that time, though, I wouldn’t say my relationship with God weakened, and maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the problem. I had grown closer to Him during many hours of worship and prayer in my car while I was driving to and from sporting events each night. I was still drawing near and depending on Him, and by His grace, He met me where I was at and we still made our relationship work.


But that time wasn’t necessarily intentional. It was just convenient.


So I started to think about what intentional time would look like in my life. Could I really give up an hour of my most productive time each morning to read His word and write in my prayer journal? Could I actually make time for writing the things He’s calling me to write, rather than just the articles I get paid to write? Could I really spend Sundays restoring my body and soul rather than getting ahead on next week’s work?


I was reluctant and inconsistent at first. I worried about not keeping up on my stories and other commitments, so I’d spend a few minutes reading and a couple minutes praying for half the week before falling off track and get sucked in by my to do list.

After a couple of patchy weeks, I finally found a rhythm, which was the result of a complete surrender. I was driving home one afternoon, frustrated and defeated, wondering why something always felt off-balance. Like why couldn’t everything in my life be OK at the same time?


I realized I was the common denominator in all my issues and I needed to start taking myself out of the equation and putting God in, and the only way I could do that is if I invited Him along.


For the last two weeks, I’ve been much more faithful in keeping my “appointments” with my heavenly Father each morning. I don’t start my day until I feel like we’ve each said everything we need to say, and believe it or not, I still have time to do everything else on my to do lists — AND I have more peace, patience, and clarity in doing it all.


Normally the YouVersion Bible home screen widget on my phone shows a different verse every day, but this week, Proverbs 16:3 has been stuck. I don’t know how to fix it, but at this point, I kind of don’t want to. I like its reminder:

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”


And it’s when my actions are committed to the Lord, my plans become His, and my success becomes His glory.

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