Monday, December 23, 2013

Here Is Why You Should Not Tithe.

Yes, you read the title of today's post correctly.  Yes, a pastor is telling you not to tithe.  To some it comes as a surprise.  To others you already know where I'm going with this.  Notice I didn't say anything about not giving to God.  As followers of Christ our view of everything we own should be viewed through the perspective that God owns everything and he has asked us to manage his stuff.  This helps us frame our view of how we spend our money, how we use our possessions, and how we give to the church.

Giving to the offering at church is difficult for some.  For others they have no problem giving.  I don't think that the ease or difficulty of giving resides so much in the amount they have to live on after they give but more on the development of their faith in God to provide.  In the past my wife and I have been in the place where we felt like if we gave like we should to the church then we wouldn't be able to make ends meet.  The problem was we didn't put enough faith in God to provide for us and we didn't use godly wisdom to reorder our spending.  In the end we were being disobedient to God because we weren't giving.  Once we committed to be obedient and worked to change our spending, that is when we saw our faith increase as God provided for us in ways we never would have imagined.  God has never allowed us to go without the things we've needed but we have gone without things we've wanted.  I say all of that to say this, I understand the fear that comes along with giving.  But like all fear, it can be overcome by God working in our lives.  So my encouragement to you is that if you aren't giving to your local church like you should commit now that you will be obedient to God's command to give.  Then start now to reorder your finances so you can start giving like you should as soon as possible.

Here's why you should not tithe.  You should not should give sacrificially.  Tithe basically means to give 10% of your income to God.  Tithing was taught in the Old Testament in various places but no verse speaks as strongly to the issue of tithing as Malachi 3:10.  It says "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" (NIV).  Here is God's command to tithe.  But many will argue that tithing is not taught in the New Testament and they are correct.  Tithing isn't taught in the New Testament but sacrificial giving is the essence of what the New Testament teaches.  Sacrificial giving means to give until you've sacrificed something or until it hurts.  In Mark 12:41-44 Jesus tells how a widow out gave many rich men because she gave sacrificially.  In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 we see Paul giving a great example of sacrificial giving from the Macedonian churches.  There are other places that teach that we as Christians should not tithe just 10% but that we should give sacrificially.  

Here's where we'll end today.  God wants us to give back some of what He has given to us as part of our worship of Him and our acknowledgment that He owns everything.  Here's my encouragement to you about giving to God.  If you are giving sacrificially then keep up the good job.  If you aren't giving make a commitment right now to be obedient to Him in this area.  If you need to reorder your finances so you can give then do it.  If that means selling a car or dropping channels from your TV then do it.  Then here is the tough part, use 10% as a starting point and not as your goal.  Following these tips will help you give sacrificially. 

*Remember that giving to God is a much bigger topic than can be thoroughly addressed in one blog post.  What I've done here is tried to hit the important parts of giving.

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