So, you’re sitting in church and all of the sudden the buckets (or baskets) are starting to weave in and out of the rows. And you see people throwing in wads of money, change from the bottom of their purse or sometimes some envelopes – and who really knows what’s in those. What the heck are they doing? Then you hear someone refer to “giving a tithe,” and you start to put two and two together. Okay, the buckets are there to collect the tithe, which leads to a whole multitude of questions. So, you start to ask around and find that everyone gives you a slightly different answer. Well, hopefully we can shed some light on the issue and also what did Jesus say about tithing.
What is a tithe?
Let’s start at the beginning. What is a tithe? Simply put, the tithe is the first 10 percent of your income and it is given as a gift to the Church. The word “tithe” translates to “tenth.” This is typically not included in what is considered charitable giving.
Why is it important?
The tithe is important because it’s something that God asked Christians to participate in to help support the church financially, so that the church could, in turn, take care of the community. Many churches use the tithe to keep the lights on, host community events and fund both local missionaries and those serving overseas to spread the Gospel of Jesus.
Should I tithe?
The really short answer to that question is, if you’re not a member of the Church, no you should not tithe. Now, if you are a member of the Church, and you do want to tithe, here some things to keep in mind:
It doesn’t have to be a lot. Sometimes 10 percent of your income isn’t a lot of money. And, that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be. In fact, Jesus speaks to this specifically in Mark 12:41-44:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Tithing is a heart matter. The tithe is really a reflection of the gratefulness you have for everything that God has blessed you with. It’s not about the sum you give, it’s about the spirit in which you give.
It’s about trust. You’re looking at piled up bills and the funds in your bank account. Now, you’re doing the math. The money just isn’t there. You want to tithe, but you’re just not sure how to do it. When it comes right down to it, God isn’t asking for money. He’s actually asking you to trust Him enough to give 10 percent to the church, knowing that He will provide for you. Do you trust Jesus?