Tithing Is for Today
In this helpful primer on tithing, Bob Lotich shares why it works for him, why it will work for you, and why you should start--today.
BY: Bob Lotich
"I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week." — John D. Rockefeller
I don’t exactly remember when I started to tithe, but I do remember a job I was hired for about 10 years ago that paid nearly double my previous income. After thanking God for opening the door to such a great job, it dawned on me that I had just recently started giving 10% of my income to my local church.
It was a helpful lesson for me, since I was skeptical about the whole tithing thing. I had heard about all the scandals with TV preachers and grew up with a cynical attitude towards giving to the church. Somewhere along the line I decided to take a chance and try it out.
I have not been disappointed. Luke 6:38 says, "Give and it shall be given to you..." and I have watched God fulfill the promise in His word over and over again ever since.
Is Tithing for Today?
There seems to be an endless debate about whether or not tithing is applicable for today's Christians. While I don't claim to have all the answers for the skeptics, I have a few thoughts about it:
Tithing isn’t a means of salvation.
You can’t earn your way to heaven by giving, and you won’t be excluded from heaven by your lack of giving. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Out of our faith, our good works manifest. So, in my opinion, if someone truly understands how great a gift they have been given, they will expend a lot of energy giving back.
It shouldn't be a moral obligation.
We are no longer under the law. As New Testament Christians, we are saved by grace, not adherence to Old Testament laws. But that doesn't mean that following those laws won't still yield good results. I have met very few tithers who consistently gave in faith and regretted it.
We are to be cheerful givers.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says that we are not to give under compulsion, but cheerfully. If we aren’t giving with the right attitude, we are wasting our money. God doesn't need our money; we are just given the opportunity to work as co-laborers with Him. How exciting is it that God lets us be part of the work that He is doing?
We are all called to give.
While the tithing debate can go on until Jesus comes back, it is crystal clear that each and every one of us is called to give. And according to Luke 12:48, "To whom much is given, much is required." Since we are in this "new covenant that is inaugurated on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6), 10% should be a mere milestone in our giving. With all that God has given to us, never going beyond 10% could be considered stingy.
If that isn't enough, when you read the Parable of the Talents, you get the impression that God is trying to communicate to us that we are merely stewards over everything that is His. If that is the case, who am I to say that He can only have 10% of His money back?