“Why do I have to tithe” is a question many Christian ask themselves. After working to provide for your family, pay for school, or gain a little independence it can be very difficult to give away the money you worked so hard to earn, especially when living on a tight budget. But the Bible gives clear direction on how we should spend our earnings, even going further by providing incentive to do so. If you can understand tithing in the way that God intended then that giving won’t be such a hardship.
In Malachi 3:10, God commanded His people to, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
A tithe is a tenth, meaning that God has commanded us to give a tenth of our earnings “that there may be food in my house”. For the modern day church that “food” can take on many different forms. Your tithe could go towards starting a new project, or providing new resources for Children’s Ministry, or it could simply be the means to pay the electricity bill. There are many facets to a church, all of which need funding to work properly, and tithing is the way that God has provided the means for His church to function. When we give our tithe to the church we are honoring the Lord by obeying His command and allowing His ordained plan to continue.
Stephen Jones, Whitnel Church youth pastor, describes tithing as “[an] act of worship and [an] integral part of the corporate worship service, as much as the message, the music, or the ministry time… Beyond simple obedience to the command of God, tithing and giving are concrete demonstrations not only of my faith in God to supply my needs, but also of my devotion to God and the pursuit of His Kingdom in my life.”
As if honoring God were not incentive enough the Lord goes even further by declaring blessings on those that tithe, even saying that we might test Him “….if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” By doing so God has created a failsafe way to ensure that His church continues to grow and thrive, and His people are blessed and their needs are met. Our churches and ministries will see growth and expansion, our families and finances will be blessed and provided for, as long as we as a people will give.
That growth and expansion can occur in ways that we could not even imagine. Your tithe could be the final donation that sends a new missionary onto the field. Your giving could allow a safe house to continue to operate, allowing thousands of women and girls to escape from human trafficking. By trusting in the Lord’s plan, you could provide the opportunity for a pastor to pour into the life of a young leader and ultimately step into the role that God has called him or her to.
Dave Ramsey puts it this way:
“Giving liberates the soul of the giver. You never walk away feeling badly. Whether through a tithe, charitable contribution, or gift to a friend in need, give away at least some of your money. Not only does it generate good, but it generates contentment. Remember, no one has ever become poor by giving.”
Truly, we can never fully realize the ultimate effect our obedience could have in the kingdom. We must simply trust in the Lord’s perfect plan and in His promises to care for us.