Giving: What About Tithing?

Giving: What About Tithing?

By Larry Fayer

Does God want you to tithe?  Tithing is usually considered 10%. And, if that is what you are asking, the answer is an emphatic “NO!”

Tithing was a part of the Old Testament Law.

First, realize that the tithe in the Old Testament was not all God expected of his people: “There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD” (Deuteronomy 12:11 ESV).  Much more than 10% was involved.

Isn’t it interesting that the only mentions of tithing in the New Testament, with the exception of Melchizedek’s tithe in Hebrews 7, is critical.  Jesus puts down those who were meticulously tithing everything, including small garden herbs, because they had left unattended the “weightier matters” of justice, mercy and faith (see Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42).  He doesn’t have much positive to say about the Pharisee in Luke 18:12, even though he offered tithes of everything he made.

Jesus commended the poor widow for putting in two small copper coins, not because of the value of the gift – it was insignificant in terms of the operation of the temple – but because, “she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:4 ESV).  He considered that she had put in more than those who had made large contributions (Luke 21:3).

10% is not what God is looking for from his followers in the New Testament.  As a matter of fact, it comes out to be 90% too little to satisfy God!  ANYTHING LESS THAN 100% WON’T DO!  The Bible states it this way in Colossians 3:16-17 (ESV), “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Or in another place it says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1 ESV).

It’s not your money God wants. It’s you!  When that happens, all the questions about amounts become trivia.

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