Tithing simply means giving a tenth of your increase. Though not popularly practiced today, tithing is one of the most fundamental biblical teachings that are misunderstood. Most professing “Christian” leaders will teach their adherents that tithing is part of the Old Testament and therefore not necessarily should be followed. But does this what the Bible accurately teaches? In this article, I will give ten reasons why I tithe.
It is Practiced in the Old Testament (way before the founding of the Israelite Nation)
Tithing originated centuries before the founding of the Nation of Israel. In fact, tithing is practiced by people who are faithful to God and in His ways. Abraham, the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11), is a prime example of this. After winning a battle against three kings, he gave a tenth to the priestly order of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-22). He recognized the importance of worshiping God with one’s substance and possession. Another patriarch who practices tithing is Jacob (Gen. 28:20-22). If you think that tithing is for the Israelites only, then you are gravely mistaken because Abraham is NOT an Israelite.
Jesus Upholds Tithing
Contrary to popular beliefs, Jesus, our God, Lord and master, upholds tithing. In His confrontation with the Pharisees, He tells them to tithe and at the same time not forgetting other matters of the law;
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay TITHE of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Matt. 23:23).
He clearly told the Pharisees that tithing is an integral part of following the commandments of God IN ADDITION to justice, mercy, and faith.
In the final analysis, God is possessor of everything (Exo. 19:5). He made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. Even our very own life comes from God. It is God who give us power to acquire what we have (Deut. 8:18). Tithing teaches us to recognize God as our supreme provider and sustainer. When we tithe, we only return a fraction of what God gave us.
Tithe is Holy
Holy means set apart. The tithe is set apart for God’s work and it is holy in God’s sight.
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD” (Lev. 27:30-32).
In its truest sense, God owns everything but He only asks us to give a tenth back to Him. He owns the tithe and we do not have the right to spend it in any way we like. When you use the tithe other than the way God intended it should be, we are DEFILING what God considers holy.
Tithing is a form of Worship
Proverbs 3:9-10 tells us,
“Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
This verse tells us that we should honor God with our substance and not just our surpluses. God is not a requesting us but He is commanding us to honor Him with our possessions.
God Commanded Tithing
God ordained tithing and He commands His people to tithe (Deut. 14:22). God commanded his people to tithe so that there will be funds for God’s work, caring the poor, and keeping the feasts. In today’s world, it is impossible to preach the Gospel without financial aid. Therefore, it is only imperative for God’s people to tithe for carrying out the mission God gave us (Matt. 28:19-20).
Tithing is an Act of Faith
There is no doubt that the primary problem for most people is money. More and more people have a hard time managing their finances and getting free from financial trap. In human reasoning, it is very illogical to give your money to a God you do not see. Why would you give money to someone when you barely have enough? This is the reasoning one may face when tithing. And yet God still asks us to tithe in spite of our short comings. Will you be able to trust God that He will provide what you need even though your mind is telling you otherwise? Tithing teaches us to be faithful to our Supreme Provider no matter what the situation we are in. We walk by faith and not by sight (II Cor. 5:7).
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation” (Mal. 3:8-9).
God clearly tells us that not tithing will tantamount to robbery and this is a violation to one of the Ten Commandments, Thou shalt not steal (Exo. 20:15). Breaking God’s law will bring about a penalty. Those who do not tithe will find themselves always wanting and never fulfilled.
Tithing develops Godly Character
Selfishness can hinder us from developing godly character. Since our natural mind is geared towards self-preservation, we find it hard to give. But Jesus Christ said that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Now it is hard to believe this statement through the human mind. Most of us will consider being blessed when we are at the receiving end but Christ thinks otherwise. When you tithe, you learn to “not seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (I Cor. 10:24). Tithing is a demonstration of your commitment to what Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).
Tithing comes with a Promise
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and TRY Me now in this (God dares us to try him), says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the LORD of hosts; and all nations will call you blessed. For you will be a delightful land, says the LORD” (Mal. 3:10-12).
These comforting words can be claimed by tithe payers. You do not have to worry about what you will eat, drink or wear because God knows who is His and He will take care of you. Think about that for a second; The God of the whole universe, the God who owns everything, the God who can do impossible things is at your side and will personally and intimately keep you. This is a promise from God. The question being asked to you now is: Will you trust God?
These are the ten reasons I tithe. Yes, there is no doubt that tithing did not make me the richest man in the world but I consider myself far blessed because of my good health and peace of mind. I never experience lacking or being hungry because of nothing to eat. God provided me everything I need and when He sees that something is good for me, He also gives me my wants and desires. Tithing changed my perspective in how I should handle my finances. Tithing set my priorities in life straight and right. And most importantly, tithing teaches me to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and because of this, I have the strongest confidence that “all these things shall be added unto you (me)” (Matt. 6:33). If not in this lifetime, it will be during the future establishment of His Kingdom here on Earth.