Google the subject of tithing, and one search can leave you believing that tithing and giving are unnecessary. A surprising number of bloggers and influencers are sharing doctrinally unsound information that tithing is not mandatory. The Bible disagrees. Here are three reasons you should start tithing today.
1. Prioritize First Things First
The first reason to start tithing is that it puts first things first. I can speak from personal experience that money makes a terrible god. It’s a black hole that a thousand lifetimes couldn’t fill. Solomon tried this—and in Ecclesiastes, we follow his journey of amassing a great fortune and possessions, but it was never enough, it was all vanity. In the end, it left him more empty than before. Greed can have power over you that you don’t realize until it’s too late.
On the other hand, giving shows that money doesn’t control you. When you tithe, you show that money is not your god. You’re fulfilling what Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6.33). Jesus is saying to prioritize God’s kingdom above your own kingdom and agenda.
You can say all day long that you are putting God first in your life, but the true test is what happens in your bank account.
Where your money goes shows where your heart is, and your heart reveals what you truly worship. So God doesn’t ask you to tithe because he needs it—the Bible says he owns the cattle on 1,000 hills—but tithing is for you, to show that money doesn’t have a hold on your heart. It shows that God is truly first in your life.
2. Gratitude Produces Generosity
The next reason to tithe is that gratitude produces generosity. The story of Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke illustrates this point. He’s so grateful to Christ for his salvation that he gives half his goods to the poor! How much you give shows how thankful you are.
The opposite is also true.
When you don’t tithe, you’re cheating God, and it shows you aren’t grateful to him. In Malachi 3.8, God asks, “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’” and God says, “In your tithes and offerings” (NIV). God is not limited by resources, but he’s the supplier of resources.
So why is he so angry that he’s being cheated? Unlike human lenders, he’s not angry because it gives him less money. He’s angry because if you cheat God, it means he isn’t your God. How can you say you are grateful for your salvation in Christ, yet lack generosity to the Lord? The Lord takes offense if you call yourself a Christian and honor him with your lips, but your actions don’t show it.
I’ve also seen time and time again that if you cheat God, you will cheat yourself. I’ve found that if you’re not tithing, you’re probably not saving or investing either.
3. Giving is a Matter of Financial Stewardship
Finally, giving is a matter of stewardship. Jesus talked more about money and stewardship than nearly every other topic—even more than heaven and hell. The message is clear: God cares how you manage your finances. He hasn’t given you what you have for you to just spend it on yourself so you can be as comfortable as possible—but for the church’s use to spread the Gospel.
So if you’re not tithing, the question is: How can you trust God with your salvation, but you can’t trust him with your finances? Start giving as the next step in your spiritual maturity. Tithe not because 10% is God’s, but because 100% is God’s, and you’re accountable to him for how you spend his money.
Also, throughout the Bible, God has a record of blessing those who are good stewards. Proverbs 11.25 says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” It’s saying that the generous soul will be made rich. When you give, you make room for more. You also see God come through ways you never would have if you hadn’t been generous. In fact, giving is the only place God calls us to test him. Malachi 3.10 says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse … And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Enough said.
Call to Action
I’ve often been asked, “When should I start giving?” and I like to respond, “When would you like to start receiving?” Giving is not something that you will do when the time is right; the time is never right. Right now is the time to give. Give when you’re in poverty. Give when you’re rich. Do not fall for the mistake of thinking, “I’ll start giving when I get that raise, or when I reach that income level, or when I get that dream job.” If you’re not giving now, you won’t then.
But you might also say, “What if I don’t feel like it? What if my heart isn’t in it?” If you begin placing your money where it belongs, the Holy Spirit will change your heart. Giving means dying to your flesh’s desire to store up and depend on self. The more you give, the more the Lord will change and give over your heart to the new desire of giving.
Where your money goes shows where your heart is, and your heart reveals what you truly worship.
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