A biblical concept that receives little fan fare or attention unless the church budget is running low or a building campaign is set to begin is that of tithing. The story is told of a young boy who was no longer wearing bow ties but now neckties like his father. He was proud of this but became quite panicked when he heard the minister make an announcement during the service. Anxiously, and gripping his tie, he looked at his dad and said, “Why did the minister just say they were going to collect the ties and offerings?” Unfortunately, many Christian adults suffer the same malady as the little boy, not sure at all of what tithing is. Tithing is a portion of our income. It is a way of learning to trust God and honor him. Tithing is not only a command of God upon his people since before the days of Moses, but a great joy with many delights and benefits to those who practice it.
In reality, tithing is a simple concept to grasp: 10% of our income. “Tithe” simply means “tenth.” A tithe is one-tenth or 10 percent of our income. As God is One who does not put on us more than we can bear, he gave us a simple, easy to remember number so as to not confuse us or make thing complex. God has given us all that we have. 100% of our possessions and income are traced back to the benevolent, providential hand of God. Therefore, we always have, when we are paid, one hundred percent of our income, then ten percent of that goes back to the Lord. Whether a minimum wage earner or a millionaire, the percentage remains the same. By returning to the Lord a sizeable portion of our income we are in effect saying to God, “In response to your generosity to me, I give this back to you, asking for you to meet my needs and see to it that I have the provisions necessary for this life.”
What are some of the benefits to you when you tithe?
- First off, you help other people. Through your church, they are able to redirect funds to people that need help, whether it is food, shelter, or something else. Sometimes someone might be embarrassed to receive money directly from another church member, whereas when it is through a church, they can receive the help they need without any embarrassment.
- Second, you help yourself. How? By tithing, and actually being able to allocate 10% of your income — you are learning how to save. You are learning how to allocate part of your income for other purposes. This makes it easier for you to do the same in other areas of your life, important areas — such as vacation money, tuition money for your children, rainy day money, and so forth.
To begin tithing is not complicated, here’s how:
- Depending on when and how often you are paid each month, determine what your monthly income is and multiply it by .10, that number is your monthly tithe.
- Make it the first check you write. Doing this ensures that we honor the Lord and live on the remainder.
- How the church receives it is up to you. I suppose I am old-fashioned but there is something to the idea of bringing our offering to the worship service and placing it in the plate, bag or box.
- Don’t forget to praise the Lord! He who has given us a fine measure of the good things of this life deserves our praise. Doing so changes our attitude about giving.
What does your tithe accomplish? Many things! First, it obeys God’s commands. Then, it is the way to guarantee that the storehouse of the Lord is full and able to fund the ministries of the church. Think of all the needy people in the community who can turn to the church! Remember: it is more blessed to give than to receive. The joyous feeling of giving well is incomparable. That is a blessing that you will know! The other blessing is that it causes us to reevaluate our financial priorities and understand with greater clarity what is truly important in this life and worth spending our money on. If you are a tithing Christian then you know all these things from your own experience. If not, follow the steps outlined above and get ready to be blessed! Not only will you be blessed but so will your congregation on account of your faithfulness to God and your trusting in him.