Questions on giving?
Literally, “tithe” means a tenth and refers to the practice of returning to God 10% of our gross income. Scripture teaches that the tithe belongs to God (Leviticus 27:30). That is why when we fail to tithe, we rob God of that which rightfully belongs to Him (Malachi 3:8-9).
Stewardship refers to the fact that God made us managers, not owners. Everything we have belongs to God. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). When God created humans, He placed them in a position of managing the earth, not owning it (Genesis 2:15). Understanding this is foundational to the practice of tithing because once we appreciate that God owns everything, it flows that we would return to God a portion of what He has given us.
Grounded in the concept of stewardship, tithing is a primary way by which we, as Christ-followers, can recognize and demonstrate that God has primacy in our lives. When we tithe, we are returning to God that which is already His.
Tithing, though, also has very practical implications which God described in Deuteronomy 14:22-29. These are:
- To honor and revere God;
- To provide for others; and
- To receive God’s blessing.
To “honor and revere God” means that when we tithe, we demonstrate that God is first in our lives, that He is supreme. We demonstrate that as stewards of all that God has given us, we are trusting Him, not money, and that we are confident in His provision (Matthew 6:19-34).