My Reason for Tithing


What is tithing? According to the American Heritage College dictionary, it is: a tenth part of one’s annual income contributed voluntarily or due as a tax, esp. for the support of the clergy or church.

When I was barely in my tweens, I first learned about tithing. It was one Sabbath (or Saturday) when I sat with my family in church, I saw my Dad pull out a check, write a number on it to the church and placed it in an envelope when the big golden bucket came around to each pew.

After church service, I asked my dad about the check he gave to the church, which led to my learning about tithe and tithing. I decided to do this “tithing” thing when I grew old and started odd jobs, like cutting the lawn for people (yes, back in the Midwest a lot of females cut the lawn) and babysitting.

I remember how excited I was when I received my first pay and that Sabbath put 10% into the golden bucket. Once, I got SO excited, I put 20% of my income in the bucket. I tried emulating this practice, until I began school again, so I put a hold on tithing. Then, when I earned my first job, I put tithing into practice again; however, I realized, giving 10% of my income was beginning to burden me (so I felt). Sometimes, when I paid for my students loan bills, car bills, insurance bills, cell phone bills, miscellaneous bills, etc and what I had left over was barely anything left for me.

I decided to compromise and think on days I didn’t earn enough, “Well, God will understand I can’t give 10% this Sabbath–I just haven’t earned enough.” I began to creep thoughts like that into my head, until eventually tithing was something I didn’t do for a long time.

Then last year, I heard someone on the pulpit remarked from the Bible, Malachi 3:7-10, which reads.

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Mal 3:7

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Mal 3:8

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Mal 3:9

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows (rain) of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room (storage bins for tithed food) enough to receive it. Mal 3:10
Like a deer in headlights, I realized that tithing wasn’t meant to be a burden nor out of an ungrateful or selfish heart. When I earn pay from the hard work, it’s not me that earned it, technically yes, but it’s God who gave me the talent so I could do my job well. As a result, when I earn the income, the 10% already belongs to God because He instilled that talent in me, so tithing Him is simply giving back to God what’s already His and showcases my thanks for allowing me to earn what I can.

I try not to think about how much money I have left over, the 10% is the first thing that I take out of my pay that goes to God. Every other bill due is what I look after. Funny thing is, when I do that, I seem to end up with more in my account than before…only God is all I can say.

DEAR READER: Whatever you earn; a percentage (for me it’s 10%) belongs to God. It was not you who got the job, but God (who knew you from before you were born) granted you the ability to do your job. Thank Him because He’s really blessed you with talents. So, why not give Him back what he deserves? Ten percent is really a small amount, and the blessings you will receive as a result of your giving back will be in abundance. I know, ’cause He’s done it many times for me.

4 comments

  1. wahtnwo · June 26, 2011

    Why 10%? Since 100% of the talent you have to do your job well came from God, why not 5% or 20%?

    • faithlooksup · June 27, 2011

      Hi, Wahtnwo. You’ve brought up very good questions and I’m glad you asked. To clarify, I give 10 percent as a result of my church’s requirement, and it may differ among others. Sometimes, though, 10 percent is not always what I can give, but I give financially to help the services/ministries of my church. Now, I’m not an expert on everything biblical so I did some research and thought this answer might best answer your questions.

      The tithe is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10% of everything they earned—or the crops and animals they grew—to the Tabernacle / Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Believers in Christ are not commanded to give 10% of their income. Each and every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom as to how much he or she should give (James 1:5). Many people believe that the Old Testament tithe is a good principle for believers to follow. Giving 10% of your income back to God demonstrates your thankfulness to Him for what He has provided and helps you to remember to rely on God instead of on riches.

      The Bible does not specifically say whether we should give 10% off our gross or net income. The Old Testament teaches the principle of firstfruits (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 2:12-14; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Old Testament believers gave from the best of their crops, not the leftovers. The same principle should apply to our giving today. Again, a believer should give what he believes God would have him give. It all goes back to the attitude of the heart. Are we giving out of reverence for God or out of selfishness for our own wealth? “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). (Click here for source.)

  2. Gary Arnold · June 26, 2011

    You are using the definition of tithing from a modern-day dictionary. Man changed God’s definition. How sad.

    NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

    Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18: The First Tithe – a tenth of crops and animals and commanded to take the tithe to the Levites.

    Deuteronomy 14:22-27: The Second Tithe aka The Festival Tithe – a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.

    Deuteronomy 14:28-29: The Third Tithe aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe – a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.

    Now, tell me. Which of the above three tithes commanded by God does anyone follow today?

    The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus didn’t tithe as a carpenter. Paul didn’t tithe as a tent maker. Peter didn’t tithe as a fisherman.

    Let’s look at Malachi 3. First, who is God speaking to – the priests or the people?
    We need to study the entire Book of Malachi rather than take a few verses out of context.

    By the time we get to verse 6 in chapter 1, we see it is the priests that are being addressed at that point.

    In both chapters 1 and 2 of Malachi there is a conversation going on between God and the priests. Every time the word “you” is used, it is referring to the priests. Chapter 3 continues with this conversation. In verse 5 God says “And I will come near to you to judgment…..” In the Old Testament, during this period of time and generally speaking, only the priests could get near to God. It is only in the New Testament that born again believers, you and I, can get close to God. So up to chapter 3 verse 5, God is speaking to the priests. The word “you” is still referring to the priests. There is nothing in the scripture to indicate this changes when you get to verse 8. But that’s not all.

    Read Numbers 18:29-30 and then read Malachi 1:14. Those verses explain robbing God of the offerings. The PRIESTS, not the people, robbed God of the offering by giving to God the worst instead of the best.

    In Nehemiah 13 we are told that the priests stole the Levites portion of the tithe; therefore, they had no food to eat at the temple, and they went back to their own fields.

    Therefore, taking the Levites portion of the tithe is the robbing God of the tithe. Or to put it another way, THE LEVITES WERE ROBBED. God said He was robbed because the tithe was not taken where God directed.

    Next, in Malachi 3:10 God says to bring all the tithes to the storehouse. The people took the tithes to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities, not to the temple. The Levites took the required tithe of the tithe to the temple. (See Nehemiah 10:37-38) Only those tithes ever made it to the temple. The priests then took those tithes to the storehouse. It only makes sense if God is speaking to the priests in this verse.

    Since in Numbers 18 God makes it perfectly clear that the tithe belongs to Him, and He gave it to the Levites, anyone who takes God’s tithe to their local church must also be robbing God since the Levites are not the ones getting it.

    I see no way around this. Either the tithe ended per Hebrews 7:18, OR those who take God’s tithe to their local church must be robbing God since God gave clear instructions where to take His tithe. There is nothing in God’s Word to show that God ever changed those instructions. Therefore, the only conclusion I can reach is that taking a tithe to your local church is NOT paying the tithe to God. It is giving it to man. Nowhere in God’s Word does He give permission for the Christian Church to receive His tithe.

    Therefore, IT IS A SIN AGAINST GOD to take God’s tithe to your local church. IT IS A SIN for any pastor to accept God’s tithe.

    You can make all the excuses you want, you can rationalize the tithe any way you want, but unless you follow THE WORD OF GOD, AS WRITTEN, you are NOT being obedient to God. God, Himself, defined what constitutes His tithe, and God, Himself, said where His tithe was to be taken. Man has no right to change either the definition or the instructions. To do so makes it man’s word, NOT God’s Word.

    • faithlooksup · June 27, 2011

      Thanks for your response, Gary. I like to hear the standpoint of others and you’ve brought out some very well mentioned points. Please refer to my answer to Wahtnwo.

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