EMAIL ADVICE: Should I tithe 10%?
This is an "Email Advice" post...
I often receive emails that ask for my advice. When it feels that the things the Lord gives me to say in response to these requests could be helpful for others, I post the question (anonymously) and my responses here. May God use them for His glory and the equipping of His people.
I hope you are well by God’s grace. I wanted to ask you about tithing. I have been giving 10% of my earnings for the past 5 years. But I want to know if it is mandatory to do 10% , I want clarity on giving and tithing if you can kindly share what you know. I have read and done research but I am still not firm.
The concept of the “tithe” is an Old Covenant concept, the giving of 10% of one’s increase (money, crops, etc.). Typically, it’s to be the first 10%, before meeting all other obligations. I make the distinction that this is an Old Covenant concept because the New Covenant seems to teach very differently about the issue of giving, and being followers of Christ, we have joined with Him through that New Covenant.
The New Testament (New Covenant) never reiterates the tithe. Though Jesus does mention tithing in the context of delivering a rebukes (Matthew 23:23) and says that their tithing should be done without neglecting the weightier matters of the law, as they were doing, it’s not clear to me that He’s saying tithe should be done, regardless. He’s address the motive behind the tithing of those He was rebuking, not giving us instructions about tithing itself.
My understanding of New Testament giving is that it’s to be done as instructed by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8…
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
THE PRINCIPLES I SEE HERE:
- We give what we decide in our heart to give (not a set percentage)
- We give because we want to give (not reluctantly, or out of compulsion)
- We give knowing that God will give back to us when we give (in ways He determines), and He’ll do so generously
- We give knowing that God gives back to us so that we we can be provided for and so that we can be generous
I suggest you read all of 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 to get the full context.
I pray this is helpful!
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