Often times, Christians go through the motions of tithing every week, sometimes without knowing why. Maybe you have asked yourself, Who started it? Where does the money go? Do I have to? Please note the following:
Tithes are first mentioned in Genesis 14: 19-20
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
In Numbers 18, God commissioned the Israeli tribe of Levi to serve by caring for the tabernacle and providing spiritual leadership for the nation of Israel. Because they were given these unique responsibilities, they did not get land like the other tribes. The tribes that received land were then called to bring forth their tithes to provide for the tribe of Levi and the priests.
In the New Testament, Jesus further affirmed the practice of tithing and Paul encouraged Christians to give to those in need and to those who were ministering in the Gospel. Tithing today still has the same purpose: to assist pastors, missionaries, and ministry personnel to faithfully build up the Church and expand the kingdom of God.
How to Tithe
Consider your pay schedule and set up a recurring pattern of payment. Some churches have ways of setting up recurring payments to make your tithe faster and paperless.
Generally, a tithe should be given to the church you attend. This way, your money can support your pastor and ministry efforts that impact you. The money also impacts your local community when your church does community outreach initiatives.
As a general rule, a tithe should be 10% of your total income before taxes. In addition to money, consider giving the firstfruits of your resources as well. This can include your time, such as giving the first part of your morning up in quiet time with God, or your energy, such as giving your time and talents to your church.
The Importance of Tithing
By tithing, you give yourself a regular reminder that you should depend on God. In good times, tithing helps you remember the source of all your blessings and in bad, it helps to remember God’s faithfulness and trust in the Lord for all your needs.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1–2
As Christians, we are called to not set our hearts upon the things of the Earth, but to focus on things that truly matter. Tithing and even giving beyond a tithe is one way to honor God and help meet the needs of others.