Have you heard of tithing? Does even the mention of tithing make you feel a little uncomfortable? Maybe you even clicked on this post with a bit of hesitation, hoping it wouldn’t turn out to be a guilt trip for you to tithe more. Don’t worry, I am not going to make you feel guilty about anything. Instead, my friend, I am going to encourage you that you have come to the right place. 😉 You’re where I believe a lot of people are. I truly believe very few people understand why the tithe is important.
I was in a situation not too long ago where God was asking me to give an additional $1,000 above the 10% tithe of my gross income that I was already giving. And I was mad. Why would God ask me to do this? Why me? I have so little money! Why does God insist on taking what little I do have?
I called a friend and word vomitted a good 10 minutes of complaining on her. After sweetly listening without interrupting, she finally said, “Tiffany, I think you need to understand who God is in your life. He is not a bad ex-boyfriend, out to take everything he can from you. God does not need your money. I repeat, GOD DOES NOT NEED YOUR MONEY.”
I sat there stunned. Wow. What a shift of perspective. She was so right. God doesn’t need my money. It’s actually a bit ridiculous to think that He would need it. So then that leads to my next question. Why would God ask me to give more of my hard earned money, when I have so little of it?
That is a great question and the reason I decided to write this post. The 5 reasons why tithing actually blesses you! Yes, you. Let’s begin. 🙂
5 Reasons Why Tithing Actually Blesses You
So here’s the real question, if God doesn’t need our money, then why does He ask that we tithe? The only logical answer is, because tithing isn’t for God. Meaning, the tithe doesn’t benefit God, it benefits you.
1. Tithing Helps You to TRUST God
“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 there will not be room enough to store it.”
Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
Putting our trust in God is hard. God’s not a dummy. He knows it is hard for us. And yet, He continually asks us to trust Him. When it doesn’t make sense, God asks us to trust Him. When the odds aren’t in our favor, God asks us to trust Him. When there doesn’t seem to be any hope, God asks us to trust Him.
Trusting in God is extremely important for our walk with God.
So it’s interesting when in Malachi 3:10, God asks us to bring the tithe to the storehouse (storehouse = modern day church). God actually says, “Test me in this“. FYI, this is the only part in the entire Bible that God asks us to test Him. I think that alone is reason enough for us to pay attention to the tithe. It is clearly important to God, and important for us.
In this verse God is basically saying, if you take care of MY house, test me and see if I won’t take care of YOUR house. I will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing, there won’t be enough room to receive it.
God is basically saying, trust me on this one. Test me even. Just see if I won’t bless you.
2. Tithing Helps You to Have FAITH in God’s Provision
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, and with the best part of everything you produce. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.”
Proverbs 3:9-10 (NLT)
In the Bible, often times the Israelites didn’t tithe money, but instead they gave the best and first of their animals and fruit of the land. They did this because they lived in a dominantly agrarian society, where the way of life was farming and herding. But imagine how scary this had to have been for them. If they’re giving the first of their herd and crops, that leaves them in a pretty risky situation. What if their herds die? What if they don’t reproduce again? What if there’s a drought and they don’t have any more crops that year?
Giving in this sense was very risky. It required a lot of faith in God. To be more specific, it required having absolute faith in God’s provision. Sometimes God wants to see that we are willing to step out in faith and believe that He will take care of us. We need to have faith that He is a good Father, who provides for His children.
3. Tithing Helps You to OBEY God with What is Precious to You
“May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children “
Psalm 115:14 (NIV)
Here is the story of a woman who did not have an education (BTW this is not my story, we will circle back to my story in a bit). She made a living as a workout instructor while living on food stamps. She was a single mother and was barely scraping by. Having recently put her faith and trust in Jesus, she began to feel God’s gentle nudge to tithe. She didn’t understand it. Tithing would literally leave her and her baby with nothing. But she couldn’t deny the tug on her heart. She decided that she would obey God. She took a deep breath, and gave what little she had to the church.
Within a week she gets a call from a university telling her that they are in immediate need of an instructor. She says she’s sorry, but she isn’t qualified to do what they need. She doesn’t have the proper education. But they insist that she is perfect for the role, and they would like her to start immediately. They offered to pay her double what she was making before, and even offered child care.
When we put our faith and trust in God, it opens the door for God to move in our lives.
4. Tithing Helps You to Be More GENEROUS
“Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Like a good father loves giving gifts to his children, God loves giving good gifts to us (Matthew 7:11). You may wonder, why is it so important for me to be generous? Why must I always be giving?
The bible says it is more precious to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 it says; “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
You see, God wants our hearts to mirror His heart. God loves to give and to help others. This means that God wants to shift our hearts so that we will want to give and help others as well. But he doesn’t stop there. The Bible actually says that if you sow sparingly (meaning give only a little) you will reap sparingly (receive only a little). But if you give generously, generosity will give given back to you.
5. Tithing Helps You Understand Your REAL Source of Provision
“But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)
So let’s circle back to that story about God asking me to give an additional $1,000 above the tithe. As you can probably imagine, I decide to obey. It was hard. I actually cried a sad, slow tear as I hit the send button on my computer screen. Giving was hard. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It was freaking hard.
But you know what happened? In the back of my mind I knew that God wasn’t trying to take anything away from me. Instead, He was trying to give something to me. He was trying to teach me something.
You see, giving was so hard, and money was very precious to my heart. Almost in an unhealthy way. It controlled me. I got mild anxiety if I spent too much. I got shoppers remorse if what I bought wasn’t a well thought-out and resourceful purchase. I depended on my own provision. I depended on my own earnings and savings in order to get by. I trusted God with a lot of my life, but my money was not one of them.
God was teaching me to let go of the reigns a bit, and let Him take over. God was teaching me to have a more generous heart. God was teaching me that by putting my faith in Him, instead of myself, He could bless me more than I could provide by myself. Because God is my real source of provision, and He is my real source of blessing. And that leads me to my final point.
BONUS: Tithing Helps God to Be Able to Bless You Even MORE
“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
Matthew 25:29 (NIV)
What does this verse mean? It means that God wants you to show that you can be trusted and faithful with the money He has already given you. If you use your money well, God can trust you with more. Meaning God can bless you with more. If God knows that you are faithful with what He has already given, He knows you will continue to be faithful when He gives you more.
What whaaaat? God giving you more? That’s crazy talk?!
No my friends, that is not crazy talk. That is God. That is God leading, and providing, and blessing you the way that only He can.
Are you ready for the end of my story? As I said, even when I was asked to give, I knew God was trying to teach me something. I knew something in my heart needed to shift. I could feel it in my bones that God was teaching me something, and at the other side of my obedience there would be blessing.
Fast forward to almost a year later. I had made it a personal goal to save $15,000 in one year. It’s a pretty ambitious goal, but hey, I like to aim high. Throughout this year, God was testing me, stretching my faith, and asking me to tithe. I was faithfully tithing 10% of my gross income, plus any extra money that I felt compelled to give.
Are you ready for it? Drumroll please…by the end of the year, I had saved $22,000!! There’s no reasonable way I could have done that on my own. There’s just no way. I mean, first of all I got into an accident and paid a lot of money to fix my car. Then I got towed and had to pay nearly $400 to get my car out (thank you California). I’ll stop there, but basically what I’m saying is it wasn’t smooth sailing. Things happened and life happened, but somehow I still managed to come out on top. I had received a tax return that made absolutely no sense. Items that I was trying to sell (even small items) sold, for the full asking price. It didn’t make sense. With God, it doesn’t make sense.
My advise? Don’t even try to make sense of it. Just obey when God asks something of you. Obey and know that it is for your own good. God is testing you so He can teach you. God does this so He can grow you into a better disciple of Christ. Rest assured that even when it’s hard, even when it seems like too much, God always takes care of His children, and He blesses them for their obedience and faithfulness.
Are You Saying I Should Tithe So I Can Get Money Back?
Please do not read this out of context. I am not saying that the only reason for tithing is so you’ll get something back. I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is, I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. It’s very much in God’s character to bless faithfulness. There is scripture literally saying God will bless faithfulness in the tithe.
But should you be motivated by greed and personal gain? Absolutely not.
Should the hopes of receiving something in return be the reason you tithe? Absolutely not.
I am saying that you should trust God with your tithing. You should trust God to be your source of provision. You should let God work on your heart to be a more giving and generous person. If you do those things, it is very much in alignment with God’s character for Him to reward those who follow and obey Him.
Wait a Minute, What Exactly is Tithing?
The word tithe literally means “tenth”. The tithe was first mentioned by Abraham (Gen. 14:19-20) and Jacob (Gen. 28:20-22). Without any requirement, they both gave a tenth of their possessions to God in thanks and gratitude for God’s provision and blessing.
It wasn’t until God lead the Israelites out of Egypt and captivity, did the tithe turn into law. With Moses as leader, giving a tithe was now a law (Lev. 27:30-34) and the first 10 percent of the land, whether seed, fruit, or herd, was called “holy”, and was to be set apart for God. By doing this, it shows that everything given to us is already God’s, and we should recognize our Heavenly Father’s provision.
In Number 18:21, we see that God established that Israel’s tithe would operate as payment to the levitical priests for their services. The Levites were separated from the other tribes of Israel. They served a special function in Israel by ministering before God and as Israel’s priests. Because of this, they didn’t receive the other tribe’s inheritance of the Promised Land, but instead received the tithe as Israel’s payment for their services as priest. However, even the Levites were required to give 10 percent of their payment to God (Num. 18:26).
Nowadays, giving “the tithe” means to give 10 percent of your income to God.
What About Churches who Misuse the Tithe?
I feel this is a common concern. Can you really trust your church’s handling of money? Firstly, if you don’t agree with, or trust, the way your church handles their finances, this might not be the best church for you. Or maybe God is prompting your heart to take on a leadership role within the church where you would have more influence. I encourage you to pray on this, and see what the real issue is between your hesitancy with giving to your church.
Secondly, giving the tithe is something that is done out of faithfulness and obedience to God. God wants to see that you are faithful with what He has given you. It’s actually a private and personal dynamic that’s only between you and God. If the church mishandles their finances, then that is not on you. You are called to trust God and be obedient to Him. I hope this helps you and encourages you to remain faithful to God, and let God be the judge any inappropriate handling of money.
Have you had a similar experience regarding tithing? If so, please comment below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I would love to hear! I am doing a follow up post to this one about testimonies of God’s provision when we are faithful to the tithe. I would love to include you!!
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Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.