Tithing is a practice we often do as an act of our worship to God but how much do you understand the origin and reasons behind it? The following are some nuggets of truth behind this practice.
REASON OF TITHING Psalm 24:1, 1 Chronicles 29:10-20 All the material possessions we have and enjoy belong to God. We are merely stewards of these earthly possessions, which God has seen fit to entrust into our care. Accordingly, the two-fold purpose of the tithe (pledge) is:
I. A tangible acknowledgement of God’s ownership of the earth and all that is in it; and II. An act of thanksgiving to God for His bountiful provision.
ORIGIN OF TITHING Leviticus 27:30-33 The tithe (of 10% on gross income) was originally instituted for the support of the Levites and priests, and the maintenance of the house of God. In the beginning, the Israelites gave willingly and freely, even as they had received.
ATTITUDE OF TITHING All believers are obliged to give to the up-keep of God’s house, His people, and His work. However, we are reminded to do so willing and cheerfully, out of love for God. Giving generously to the work of God without grumbling or fearing for our future, we are to die to the things of this world and strive to give even beyond the required 10%. A member facing financial difficulties should pledge as his faith allows. The Bible encourages giving the full 10%, as an act of faith and trust in God’s bountiful provision (Malachi 3:7-12).
What happens to the Tithes and Free-will offerings?
10% of all the wealth under our stewardship is to be unquestionably returned to the Lord. The principle for its use being the care of God’s house and His people; and the furtherance of His work on earth.
Within the bounds of this broad guiding principle, believers are free to decide on where and to whom this 10% is to be given.
Christians are always encouraged and urged to pledge the whole 10% of their gross income (or a major part thereof) to the support of the vision of the church, its workers, ministry and mission.
*A free will offering refers to the money we would give to the Lord’s work, over and above that which we have tithed, or purposed to pledge.
This article first appeared in Issue 4, April 2012 CHORUS Magazine.