Tithing is a popular subject for better or for worse. Some people love talking about it while others cringe the second they hear the word. It also comes up in many debates on if it really matters or not. Jesus talks about money more than most other topics while He was here on earth and from what’s recorded in the Bible…I would say that fact alone means it matters…in fact, it’s very important.
As we read the Old Testament, there are many rules and regulations to follow (the Law), but Jesus came to fulfill the Law in the New Testament. That doesn’t mean that everything just goes away from what we read in the Old Testament, but rather Jesus actually takes everything a step further.
For example, we are not to murder anyone, but Jesus says to not be angry at anyone (Matthew 5:21-22). We read of tithing in the Old Testament, but Jesus talks about the heart in regards to our giving whether that be 5, 10, or 20 percent. This actually should encourage us to be “all in” in everything as we follow Jesus, including our money.
Think about it, Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the grave, defeating death and sin in victory. If you follow Him, ALL of your past, present, and future sins are forgiven, forever. In light of that fact, how could you not give to God, and really, why would you ever consider stopping at a certain percentage?
When it comes to our giving/tithing towards God, it should be:
Joyful & Obedient
We give out of obedience to The Lord from what He has done for us and we do this joyfully. If we give for any other reason or give reluctantly, we have missed the point all together.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 8:2-3).
A Regular Part Of Your Life
Sometimes it’s tempting to just give here or there, but tithing should be considered a lifetime decision. We must make this obedient act a regular part of our lives if we are the follow Jesus. If we don’t, what message are we proclaiming then and who are we really trusting?
“On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
Proportionate to Your Ability
Don’t get hung up on a percentage. Some people may gave millions, some thousands, and some a few dollars. God isn’t interested in the amount (He is the Creator of everything…I don’t think He needs money), but is rather more concerned with the state of our hearts.
“Each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
Costly & Sacrificial
Imagine if you had a million dollars to do whatever you wanted with, and you decided to give $50 for the tithe to God. What message are you proclaiming by doing that? What good will that do? Again, it’s not about the percentage or amount, but rather it’s about the state of the heart. Someone who would only give that much when they could give so much more is forgetting what Jesus has really done for them.
The poor widow with “two small copper coins” is commended by Jesus for putting into the offering “everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:42-44; Acts 4:32-33; 2 Corinthians 8:3).
Abundant & Generous
Think of what Jesus has done for you. He gives us abundant life. He was generous in everything He did for us, including death on a cross. As we follow Him, we have no reason not to be abundant and generous in light of what He has done for us.
“In a severe test of affliction, [the Macedonians’] abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave…beyond their means” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3; Proverbs 14:21; Proverbs 14:31; Proverbs 19:17; 2 Corinthians 9:6; 1 Timothy 6:18).