What the Bible Says About Tithing
2 CORINTHIANS 9 VERSE 7
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
PROVERBS 3 VERSE 9
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce;
MALACHI 3 VERSE 8
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.
MATTHEW 22 VERSE 23
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
The topic of tithing is always a delicate subject within the church. It is frequently said that a tithe is 10% of one’s income. This is not a correct statement for Christians to follow. The concept of giving 10% originates in the Old Testament and was required of the Jewish people. For them, it was similar to a modern day tax. They gave the best of their crops, their animals, their money, bringing the total of their required giving closer to 21% and not 10%. The purpose for their tithes and giving was to provide for the Levites, the priests and their families, and to provide for the poor and needy. It was also evidence of their faith in God that he was their ultimate provider and owner of their possessions.
For the Christian, there is no Biblical command that a tithe be given or that it be 10%. Instead, we are to give cheerfully, as we determine in our heart. Our heart is a dangerous thing; it may lust after money, so we must be extremely prayerful and considerate regarding tithing to the church. We should not give sparingly so that we indulge in sinful lust or love of money. Is that 10%? Not necessarily. It could be much more or much less. We must seek Godly wisdom to make the determination as to what the proper amount is and give cheerfully. We must also never give a tithe and expect that our service to the Lord ends there. Our very lives are given to God.
WHAT IT MEANS TO OUR FAMILY
We give to the church to provide for the pastor and his family, the building, the missionaries and all of the other activities in the church. We must not let our giving end there. We should give to charitable groups, give to needy people we encounter, provide for God’s servants, and be ready at a moment’s notice to help those in need. The Lord is our reward, not money. The money we have is an earthly reward, but if we put too much value on it, it will become a snare for us. We must not get attached to it.
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