Why Should We Tithe? Don’t Get All Nervous and Sweaty Yet - Finds.Life.Church

Why Should We Tithe? Don’t Get All Nervous and Sweaty Yet

by Alli Wiseman

The tithe is a tricky topic. It’s tempting to tune out when your pastor brings up generosity in the sermon or even to treat the offering bucket at church like a hot potato. But before you get all nervous and sweaty about tithing, hang with us. The tithe gets a bad rap, but it can actually be a very freeing principle. So let’s get to the bottom of this hot-button question: Why should we tithe?

But first, let’s talk about what tithing is not. It wasn’t some mastermind scheme invented by a bunch of church leaders to con you into giving. It’s not something you do to make God love you more. And it’s also not supposed to be something that makes you feel all sweaty, awkward, and guilty. So go ahead and shake off those lies about tithing and take a breath. You don’t need to feel guilted into giving. In fact, God is actually looking for people to give with cheerful, willing hearts.

Now, you might be wondering, what even is tithing? Is it a fancy word Christians made up? Let’s talk about that. Tithe means “tenth,” so to tithe means to give the first 10 percent of what you make back to God as an act of worship. The tithe was God’s idea, and it’s actually good for us. We see in Leviticus 27:30 that a tithe of what we have not only belongs to God but also is holy.

So, why should we tithe? Is it a litmus test of how Christian you are? Not in the slightest. Tithing is something God asks us to do not because He needs our money but because He wants our hearts. Remember that God is a good God. He’s a loving Father. So when He asks us to do something, it’s from a deep place of love—knowing what we need even more than we do. God is inviting us to tithe not because He wants something from us but because He has a better life for us when we choose to put Him first.

Tithing is an opportunity to trust God and remember that He is our ultimate provider. But here’s the thing: When we tithe, we’re actually not even “giving” at all. Everything we have is a gift from God, so we’re just returning to God what’s already His in the first place.

If that weren’t enough, God actually promises to bless our tithe and gives us permission to test Him on that. (Sidenote: that’s actually the only area in which God says we can test Him.)

Now, disclaimer here. Just because you tithe doesn’t mean your life is going to be all sunshine and roses. Your car (if you have one) will still probably break down sometimes. Your kids (if you have them) will probably still need money for that school fundraiser. The blessings may not always be financial. Now, they certainly could be. There are lots of stories of people who gave with faith and ended up receiving something in return. But regardless of the outcome, our job is obedience, and God honors that with something more important than material things.

When God asks for our heart, and He gets it, He fills it with Himself. And giving some of what we have to get more of God sure seems like a worthwhile investment.

Still skeptical and/or sweaty about the tithe? We get it. But when you tithe, God shows up. Living off 90 percent of our income with God’s blessing is always better than 100 percent without it. You feel margin, even when you logically shouldn’t. Things just seem to have more peace. Maybe you find more relational blessings, like new friendships and relationships. Or maybe those weekly (or daily) arguments with your spouse about money just stop happening so often because your priorities make more sense.

The fact is, stuff will never fulfill you the way Jesus does. In fact, Jesus once met a rich young ruler who wasn’t willing to give up his money for God’s mission. And the rich guy walked away feeling sad (Luke 18:18-25). The point of that story isn’t to make you think having stuff is bad. It’s to show you that we were created to love God more than stuff, and it’s important to have those priorities in the right order.

So to tithe is to worship and honor a God who gave it all to you in the first place. And from there? We can start living generous lives that improve the world around us. And that sounds like a goal worth pursuing. So maybe we can all just stop getting so nervous about the tithe and take God up on His promise—have fun with it and test Him.

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