“What Does the Bible Say About Tithing?”
I enjoyed reading your article on the will of God and I agree with your point of view. I was wondering if in your opinion the Bible is clear about what we should do about Tithing?
I do not believe we are under the tithe obligation (10%) anymore. But this doesn’t mean we aren’t obligated to give. In fact, it might be that we should give more! I believe our responsibility is greater under the New Testament because now we don’t have a simple figure (or percentage) given that we can follow, but rather must consider what the needs are around us and give accordingly. The model in giving, of course, was God the Father in giving His Son for us, and who continues to give to us bountifully. Jesus was pleased with the old woman who gave only a little bit because it was all she had: giving was the important thing to her, taking care of the work of God rather than worrying about her own needs (Mk. 12:41ff). He also taught us not to fret about our personal needs but to lay up treasure in heaven (Mt. 6:19-21, 31-34). If we do what we are convinced is right, even if it costs us dearly, our Father in heaven will reward us in due time (Lk.6:38). Paul called on us to be cheerful givers, to look out for others ahead of ourselves. If all of us have that attitude, then we will find ourselves helping others and being helped in return (2 Cor. 3:13-15). He taught us to give bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6), but he taught us to give as we have purposed in our hearts, not under compulsion. And he promised God’s provision for us (vv. 8-11).
A key issue in the matter of giving is fear. Do we see a need and not give out of fear? Do we out of insecurity or greed hold onto our material things or horde our wealth to obtain more so we can buy more things or be secure if the economy takes a slide?
Another key matter is the ongoing ministries of the church. Are we behind our church leaders? Do we support them with our time, energies, gifts, and money? What about the work of Christ around the world? Are we giving so others can go and proclaim the Gospel?
We need to get away from the law mindset on this matter. Our minds and hearts should be focused on our church and the world around us, and we should be ready to give to help others and further the kingdom, even if we do without. We must have an eternal perspective; this world and its “goodies” are not what are important. The work of the kingdom of Christ should provide the focus and measure for everything we do and have.
I cannot tell you how much you should give. If your greatest desire is to further the kingdom of Christ, and everything you have is at His disposal, then the balance will be tipped toward giving. Imagine what the church could do if we all had the attitude of the Israelites when it came time to build the tabernacle! (Ex. 35:5ff)