Sam and I tithe our money. That means we give at least the first 10% of our gross income away to the place where we worship. We’ve done that now for many years. I’m blogging about this not to brag but because people sometimes ask me what we do. So I thought I might as well be up-front because it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Tithing is a good thing. Here are 10 reasons why we tithe.
1. The Bible
We tithe because the bible teaches it. It was a command for the people of Israel in the Old Testament to give their firstfruits (Deuteronomy 14:22; Proverbs 3:9) and we don’t see that it’s been rescinded in the New Testament, although it has been caught up into the even bigger Christian value of ‘generosity’ (Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9). As such we find it a good starting point for Christian giving.
2. God’s grace
We tithe in response to the grace of God (2 Corinthians 8:9). We don’t tithe to earn God’s favour as he can’t love of us any more than he already does. We tithe in order to mirror something of God’s generosity to us.
We tithe because we think God doesn’t just give money to people for their own benefit, but for it to be shared (1 Timothy 6:17-18).
We tithe because it’s one way we can aim to fulfil the command to ‘excel in the grace of giving’ (2 Corinthians 8:7).
We tithe because we budget. We plan it. We expect to live on what’s left after we’ve given (Luke 14:28-30).
6. For the church’s mission
We tithe because it provides good resources for the local church – and the local church is God’s No1 plan for changing the world. We know that many churches have vision beyond their resources. If more people tithed, more vision would be realised. We want to play our part in turning vision into action, so we tithe (see eg 1 Corinthians 16:2).
7. For our good
We tithe because God promises that the giver will be blessed, so they can give again (2 Corinthians 9:11). We have found that to be consistently true. Every time. Generosity produces generosity (Proverbs 11:24).
8. Act of faith
We tithe because it’s an act of faith. It helps us trust that God will help our family live well on what’s left (Psalm 4:5).
9. More than enough
We tithe because the remaining 90% is genuinely more than enough to live on (Malachi 3:10). That’s why our giving to people, organisations and charities comes from the remaining 90%.
10. A Lifestyle
We tithe because it’s what we do. It’s how we live. It’s how the great people of faith lived in the past (eg Genesis 14:20). It’s part of the desire that Sam and I have to try, if we possibly can, to give away more each year.
Some followers of Jesus have particular reasons why they don’t tithe. I’m sure some of those are good and valid, especially if one partner is not a believer. But most Christ-followers can, could and should consider tithing. Because it’s good for the recipient, for the giver and for the kingdom of God.
Don’t tithe reluctantly because you must (2 Corinthians 9:7). Rather, tithe because it’s a really really good thing to do. It’s a God-honouring thing to do. Tithe because you want to be part of seeing wonderful things happen.