Tithing

Rather than pontificating, I’m simply going to question today. How much should one tithe?

As I see it, there are two answers to this question. Old Testament: Ten Percent. New Testament: Cheerful Giving.

So what do you do if you’re cheerfully giving five percent, but ten percent would make you grumpy? On one hand, most pastors (mine included) would tell you that you should cheerfully give at least 10 percent, and they have a lot of biblical reasoning for it. One of the most compelling I heard said that when it came to Old Testament law, Jesus didn’t waive the requirements, he strengthened them. For instance, Jesus clarified that if a married man lusted, he was also committing adultery, even if no physical act had taken place. So when it came to tithing, the ten percent was a minimum.

Another consideration is that tithing is a recognition that everything you own belongs to God. He gives us a portion to see what we’ll do with it. Do we squander it? Hoarde it? Or do we share it? Our actions say much about our heart.

Steve Pavlina has an essay on tithing that says monetary donations, though, are the smallest part of tithing, and that there are many other ways to give (encouragement, time, talents, etc). In addition, if you’ve developed a guilt complex about not tithing (or not tithing enough), then don’t do it.

It’s perfectly OK not to tithe. If you don’t feel a desire to tithe, don’t beat yourself up about it. Let go of the guilt, and forgive yourself. Not tithing doesn’t make you a bad person.

Tithing must be done from a state of abundance. If you harbor thoughts of scarcity as you tithe, then tithing will only become a source of incongruence and pain for you.

Lest you think he’s the speaking evil, he counters his own thoughts on tithing, about why not tithing is bad:

Tithing must be done from a state of abundance. If you harbor thoughts of scarcity as you tithe, then tithing will only become a source of incongruence and pain for you.

and

Instead of tithing to “better” causes, I wanted my life to become a tithe-worthy cause of its own. It saddened me to feel that only 10% of my money was serving the greater good. Sure it’s better than 0%, but why not 20% or 50% or even 100%? In order to reach those higher percentages, I had to transform my work completely, which I consciously did last year when moving from game development to personal development. In this capacity I feel I’m able to serve the greater good more directly and purposefully.

Anyway, no pontification on the subject today, I’m just sharing some information I’ve gathered. How do you feel about tithing?

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7 thoughts on “Tithing

  1. Great topic!

    First off, we have to come to grips with the fact that our money and our stuff is not our own. Everything we have comes from God. What God requires is that we [cheerfully!] bring the first 10% of what we have back to Him (the local Church) and live on the remaining 90%. It’s not because God needs the money, but He wants us to grow in our trust and faith in Him.

    Remember… God is a GIVING God and we were created in His image. The more we give, the more we will realize it’s not ours in the first place, and the more we will model our Heavenly Father.

    For most of us, making that 10% payment is a BIG leap of faith! Take that leap! In my mind, if we don’t take that leap of faith, then we’re basically saying that we don’t trust God to take care of us. My wife and I made the commitment to tithe our 10%, and the Lord has blessed us (and continues to) in tangible (financial) and non-tangible (relational) ways.

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  2. So you’re mind is in the “state of abundance” that the author talked about? That the first 10% is your firstfruits?

    Do you ever feel the 10% is more of an obligation?

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  3. Our pastor says that if you can’t give cheerfully, don’t give at all. He says that God doesn’t need our money, which is true, it’s all His as was stated. Tithing is more of an act of obedience and a measure of stewardship, giving as an acknowledgment of God’s Lordship in our lives. It is an offering which is often (if not usually) sacrificial, relaying not only our understanding that it is all His, but also an act of our trust in Him.

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  4. It’s interesting because our church is starting a huge expansion and impressing upon us the need to give. While the message is probably accurate, it’s not being receive as well as some would like.

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  5. 💡 All the above blogs are awesome. I am not personally trying to figure out whether to tithe or not but as an Man of God I do not want to mislead noone. I am a cheerful tithe payer in the church and has always been. I can go and pull countless scriptures to back it and those that are oppossed to paying tithes can probably dispute my theory.
    So I must say that if we love the Lord and care about His people and the strenghtning of the body of Christ. Why don’t we stop debating with one another and love another as the Lord has called us to do. Stop debating about who’s right and who’s wrong. I have know church’s, individuals, and men of the cloth to disassociate themselves because of another belief. Let’s focus on what Christ came for and that was to save the lost at any cost. Whether you pay tithes are not is not going to save the sinner man. Annais ans Saphire were part of the early church that was being developed and the people showed a need and concerned for other saints. They lied and look what happen so you figure it out. Should you tithe or not? Email me because there is more @ Raylivingston@peoplepc.com

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  6. I am a christian mother and wife. I came to christianity about 4 years ago…..I have a question for anyone to answer. This has been on my mind for a while. I am behind a great deal on my household bills ex…Rent, electric, car insurance. I dont go out and blow my money on material things and I Love God!! I dont feel at ease or being a cheerfull giver when I have to decide whether to pay my tithes or pay my bills. It bothers me alot! Im trying to get others advice on what I should do…. Please help!!

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  7. Amanda, I’ll pray for you this week. I know life is more difficult when resources are harder to come by.

    There is no single answer for you, which is why it is so difficult. I know of some churches that advise their flock that if they are deep in debt, use the tithing money to pay off the dept. I’m not sure that’s scriptural, but I’ve heard that advice.

    Consider these things: Consider Mark 12:41-43. Whatever you provide, Jesus knows the difficulties you face. Also consider Matthew 6:24-34; Jesus asks you whether your trust is in yourself or your possessions, or whether your trust is in Him who provides all things.

    Prayerfully consider both, then approach Jesus yourself as the adopted child of God you are, and ask Him to provide wisdom.

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