I am damn sure my local church members will not be surprised to see me asking this question. There will be a gossip or talks about me, because they haven’t seen my name in the tithe list. They will never find my name there because I stopped giving tithe. My dad one day told me if I ever thought of giving tithe to our church. I don’t know why he asked me this, maybe as a father he wants to show me the right path or maybe he wants my name to be listed in the church list so that he can at least show to his friends that his son who works abroad had given this much amount to the church.
The pressure goes high when I got a job in 2014, people started asking me if I ever tithe or give donations to the church, even my best friend started to ask me. I questioned myself why people are so much into my money which is just a few thousand bucks. It’s very interesting to know that I stopped giving tithe as soon as I got a job. I am sure many of my church members were surprised too, because when I was a student, I always give my share of tithe whenever I earn anything during my weekends. I was a religious person for sure. I never knew God will bless me even if I don’t give tithe. I thought I got job opportunities during weekend because I was sincere in my giving to church. At the end of the year you will find your name in the church report list, that Sunday will be only a day of reports on financial things. You compared your amount to your friends and families; you are often lifted up for been the highest donor.
I stopped tithing when I start to question the authority. What benefits do I get by giving my ten percent of my earning? Why would God wants me to tithe when everything I have is all His? Why God wants my money? So many things came into my mind and I decided to stop. I do research on tithing, but I couldn’t find anything that is relevant to my mind. I would often get the answers like, ‘you should give back to God because He is the provider.’ ‘If you want a treasure in heaven, then start giving tithe.’ ‘Tithes are for God and you shall not steal His money.’ The fact about tithe is not only about money, it includes everything of your earning or livestock. “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”- Lev. 27:30. When I saw this verse, I was totally damaged. Because I thought tithe is something to do with cash. I failed miserably in doing the cash thing and now the verse is saying everything from the land. It discouraged me, but that doesn’t stop me from finding my answers.
When we look at the New Testament, we find that it’s through the grace of God that we are blessed and saved. God never demands anything from us; He just supplies all our needs. Whereas in the Old Testament we find that God is a demanding God. I always put this question back then, why should I tithe when God is not asking me anymore in the New Testament. I ask one of my facebook friends –Selie about tithing things, and it really touches my heart, here is what he says,
“1- Collection on Sunday for the Church in Jerusalem: On the first day of the week, each of you should set aside some income and save it to the extent that God has blessed you, so that a collection will not have to be made when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2
- The principle of OT tithing is incorporated in the NT: Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a part of the offerings? In the same way the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:13-14.
The point in the NT is to give liberally and not just 10% for mission and for the glory of God. The need to give for the gospel and extension of God’s kingdom is much more vital than during the time of the OT. So it’s not only a matter of tithing financially or materially, but going beyond tithes by giving even our time and energy for the gospel.
We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. Faith is always active. We are not saved by tithing or good works but our faith overflows into good works”
I sure many of you will agree with me to the above statement because nothing is clearer than the Word of God itself. So, I believe it’s not where you give but it’s whom you give to. We need to give so that people who are working for the good news will live by it. Pastors or missionaries cannot live without their basic needs, so it’s our duty as a church to provide the needs so that they can travel or provide necessary things to God’s children.
A reminder to myself, I need to give more, not because my church wants new building or new car but for the extension of His kingdom. Amen!