DO I REALLY HAVE TO TITHE?
Tithing is simply a tangible way in which God’s people are able to express worship. God has given us all that we have. We respond by returning a portion (Deut. 16:17; 2 Cor. 9:6,7). I recently heard a message from 1 Corinthians 16:2, that developed three points that were helpful.
1. Giving should be regular (first day of the week),
2. There is no exception (every [each] one of you)
3. Give proportionately (as God has prospered)
Paul could have issued an exception clause, but he didn’t. Surely there are exceptions, right? Well, not according to God’s Word. Tithing is not restricted to any particular economic class. It is expected from every class. It is interesting that several times in Scripture God chooses to illustrate giving by way of the poorest of His people: the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17), the widow in the gospels (Mark 12:42,43), and the poor churches in Macedonia (2Cor. 8:1,2). If the poorest can give with the expectation of God continuing to provide, there is really no good excuse for any.
I don’t think a child of God needs to be convinced that it is honoring to the Lord to give proportionately and consistently from all that God enables him to gain. This is not a form of bargaining with God by which we expect big returns on each dollar given. We give to honor the One who has first given to us. We give to participate in the work He has ordained for our generation. We give that we might fellowship with others in providing for gospel laborers and needs of others.
While those who make more are generally able to give more, assuming they order their finances well and keep their lusts in check, every believer is expected to lay aside regularly a portion from that with which God blesses them. To not do so is to ignore a primary way in which honor can be tangibly shown to Jehovah-jireh. One must ask: if you ignore the Lord in this area of your life, what about other areas? Where your treasure is, there your heart will be found. Where is your heart?