Oooh here comes the scary topic. Tithing is a conversation that I have seen a lot of people get weird around. It seems the moment that you begin talking about tithing, everyone is up in arms. They start to look a little bit like Gollum. Hoarding all that money and holding their wallets close while hissing ‘my precious’. Maybe not, but nonetheless, it is something that can get people a bit heated or bring a lot of anxiety. After all, money in this world is such a precious commodity that others would rather cut their right hand off than fork it over.
If you do not know what tithing is, it is the idea in the Bible, of giving 10% of what you earn back to God. For instance, wheat farmers would give 10% of their crops (their best ones) to God or the temple. Now it is more money than anything else because giving away crops to a church might be a bit odd.
So, what is the point of tithing? My friends, college peers, and family have discussed this topic quite a bit. It seems to some people that God is just trying to take their money. To others, it is a money grab by the church to pay for things they do not need. I will share with you what I believe tithing is by reading the Bible, praying, and through topics.
Tithing is not a money grab made by humans. Tithing is something that God not only asks for, but requires. We are to give at least 10% to God. Not because He wants you to suffer or because He desperately needs cash. He requires it for two reasons.
One, because everything that you make and own is His. May suck to hear it, but it’s true. Everything that you own or have earned, was made possible through Him. Therefore you are not being magnanimously generous when you give your 10% to Him. You are giving him back 10% of the 100% He has given to you. If you think about it, He’s not asking that much.
Two, for the purpose of protecting you. Now, that may be odd to you, especially considering how anxiety-riddled you may get when you see that money disappearing from your account. However, it is true.
You have probably heard the verse, money is the root of all evil, and heard about how you cannot serve two masters. Well, first off, the first verse is from 1 Timothy 6:10 and that is not what it says. It says:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is not the root of evil, but of many kinds. Also, notice how it says that they have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Money bring grief. Whether it is from a love of money, a hoarding of it, or a lack of it.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ~ Matthew 6:24
The second verse is above. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money. If you serve God, you give away money and it is not a priority. If you serve money, you are not following the will of God. Simple in that.
Both of these verses feed into the idea that tithing is enforced to protect us. It is to protect us from the grief that money brings. When we become so focused on the dollar signs, even to the point of withholding tithe, and making money, money becomes our master. Suddenly you’re getting headaches and increased anxiety and everything is turning into a mess.
God asks us to give tithe so that in a sense we are giving away that control that brings us grief. We are not allowing money to hold that power. God now holds the power. As we give to Him, He gives back to us. In a way, we benefit ourselves too when we tithe. God increases our provision when we dutifully follow Him. Tithing is something that He asks of us, not to torture us, but to increase our faith and the blessing He gives to us.
There are two things I want to touch on before ending off this blog post. The first is the idea that tithing does not always have to be the church. Now, hear me out. There are some people who disagree with me on this front. That’s okay. You can disagree with me. I do not believe that tithing is specifically to the church. I believe that you can tithe to Godly organizations or charities or foundations. For instance, giving 10% or more to World Vision every paycheck, or giving to Hope Mission. I know that I have tithed to a non-profit organization that takes care of children and teaches them about Jesus.
If your drawback from tithing is that you do not want to ‘fund the megachurch’ then tithe to another Godly institute (though you may need to talk to God about the animosity between His workers and yourself). God wants us to give 10% so that we are not making money into an idol. Whether to church or somewhere else, donations are to bring glory to Him.
My second thing that I wanted to discuss, was the woman who gave two coins into the offering plate of the temple (Luke 21:1-4). There were rich people giving copious amounts of money, but it was the widow who put two copper coins into the offering plate that had drawn Jesus’ eyes. It was because even though it was not a lot of money in a realistic sense, it was everything that she had to live on. She had given her all, instead of a portion.
No matter how small you think your offering may be, if it is from a place of little, it means all that much more. God takes pride in you, and in your tithing, no matter how great or little the amount. He sees the obedience that you bind yourself to, and accepts you as you are.
God sees us where we are, and He is patient with us. Whether in the first steps of starting to tithe, or increasing our tithe. He is by our side through it all.
Lord, thank you for providing for your children. Thank you for the blessings you have given us. Thank you that we can work, that we can earn, and that there is money to be found, whether little or large. I pray Father that you would guide us in our obedience. Help us to follow your will. Lay our anxieties aside as we give to you what you are owed and what you ask for. Increase in us your servants heart. I pray blessing over everyone that reads this post and over your children. Help there to be an abundance that comes out of this. Whether money or joy or peace. Father let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In Jesus’ name,
I hope you all have a fantastic week, and that this gave you some fruit for thought. God bless!
P.S. Two LOTR references in a row (I think, assuming the flaming arrows was my last post). Love me some Tolkien.
P.S.S. Did you read ‘my precious’ in a Gollum voice? I did.