Should a Christian Tithe?

Many Christians struggle with the issue of giving and tithing. Pastors also find it hard to express their own beliefs about the subject. Money-talk in the church can be thorny. It’s easier not to mention money.

Some believe that tithing is biblical. To them, it is the right thing to do as a Christian disciple. Others remind us that the tithe isn’t mentioned in the New Testament at all. Nor is percentage giving.

I’ll be honest with you. Earlier in my life, I felt that teaching tithing was inappropriate. The idea sounded legalistic and in direct contrast with the freedom we have in Jesus Christ.

I have a different perspective now. I believe tithing should be encouraged. Not because it’s biblical. I’ve come to that conclusion because I have witnessed tithing as a joyful expression of faith. Tithing transforms both the tither and the church.

Also, there is just something about ten percent. On the one hand, it’s just an arbitrary number (except for the biblical precedent). On the other hand, the spiritual effect of making that ten percent commitment cannot be understated.

Take a look at this video. It’s long, 15 minutes, but worth every minute.

She doesn’t mention tithing in her presentation. But ask yourself, what causes a 16-year old girl to have that kind of determination and poise? Transformational giving.

Tithing is a matter of faith. No one commits to tithing from any motivation other than spiritual. The tithers I have met are quiet, unassuming people who demonstrate profound faith because of their commitment. They don’t seek recognition. They already have their reward – the joy of leaning back on God’s goodness and knowing that what God provides is enough.

Find your fellow tithers. Ask them privately to share with you why they tithe. Listen to their testimony, and you’ll hear stories of personal transformation. It’s not about the money – it’s about a relationship with God. It’s about trust and vision and faith formation.

Imagine a tipping point in your church. Imagine 10 percent of your givers tithing. Or 25 percent, or even more. Your congregation will be a transformed. Of course, the additional money will be helpful. More than that, your congregation will be on fire for God, full of the Holy Spirit, and living into the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus preached about.

2 thoughts on “Should a Christian Tithe?

  1. Can contributions to organizations that feed and shelter the poor, provide support to community arts groups, and other charitable good-works associations outside of the church be considered as part of one’s tithe? I once heard that it could and was termed a ‘modern tithe.’

  2. David, sometimes looking at tithing from a perspective of “the rules” is really an attempt to say, “What’s the minimum I should do?” Isn’t that the opposite of generosity and cheerful giving? There really are no “rules” to follow here. “God loves a cheerful giver” should be a guiding phrase. My own experience of giving is that there is a qualitative difference between giving to my church and giving to other organizations. I believe church giving should be the highest priority. The modern tithe may be a good start for someone: 5% to their church, and 5% to other causes. In almost every case, that will be more generous than their current pattern.

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