Whether you grew up putting dollar bills into the collection plate at church every Sunday or the word tithing has got you scratching your head, it’s always a good idea to check your attitude toward giving. And that’s basically what tithing is—giving!
But that brings up a ton of questions: What exactly is tithing? How much should you give? Can you give while you’re in debt? If you’ve got questions around tithes and offerings, you’re not the only one. Let’s dig in so you can experience the joy of giving no matter your financial situation.
What Is a Tithe?
A tithe is 10% of your income given specifically to your local church. (Fun fact: The word tithe literally means tenth in Hebrew.) Because the custom of tithing is biblical, many Christians and Jews practice it as part of their faith. And while it’s important to give your time and your talents by doing things like serving at a local food bank or knitting a blanket for a home bound neighbor, the word tithing refers to giving money.
According to Leviticus 27:30, “A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy.” And Proverbs 3:9 (NIV) says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.”
So, Scripture explains that:
- tithing is an important part of faith for those who follow God.
- your tithe should be money you set aside first.
What’s the Difference Between Tithes and Offerings?
A tithe is a specific amount (10% of your income) that you give first, and an offering is anything extra that you give beyond that.
After you’ve tithed and paid all your bills and necessary expenses for the month, you can then use any extra money in your budget to give even more! This can include giving a cash offering to your church above and beyond your normal tithe, giving money to a charity you support, giving to a friend in need, or giving your time and skills by volunteering.
The Bible tells us that tithing is a way to show that we trust God with our lives and our finances. But the tithe wasn’t put in place for God’s benefit—He already owns everything. He doesn’t need our money. Instead, tithing is meant for our benefit because sacrificing a portion of our income helps us look outside our selfishness and makes us more aware of the needs of others.
In fact, one of the main purposes of tithing is to support the needs of pastors and the work of the local church. Tithes help pay the pastor’s salary, keep the church’s lights on, and meet the needs of the community.
Tithing is an act of faith that helps us keep our priorities straight. It reminds us that we don’t own anything in this life. God is in control, and we’re only managers of what He’s given us.
Ever notice how unselfish people tend to make better spouses, friends, relatives, employees and employers? Yeah, they usually have better finances too! That’s the beauty of tithing. We don’t give to get, but God often blesses us with more if we’re good managers of what we already have. Tithing recognizes that God is our provider and that we will prosper with more than just money if we rely on Him.
If you would like to tithe; please send your tithe to: PO Box 621, Fowlerville, MI 48836