Occasionally I will get in a discussion with someone who doesn’t believe in tithing. They seem to take the perspective that they are “free” to give as the Lord leads them, again mistakenly thinking that tithing is a “law” instead of principle for the Christian to apply. So I sometimes would ask them how much they give. Since they love to talk about their “freedom” to give, I would assume they give a lot more than 10% away. So I ask is it 13%? 15%? Or even 20%? The most common response is silence. Because the truth is in their “freedom”, they don’t even give 10%. Yup…just what I thought.
So…about the difference between tithing and giving. Tithes are the first 10% of our income given into the storehouse to provide finances to help support those who are equipping and giving spiritual leadership to the Christians in the local church. When we give, over and beyond our tithes, then we are giving an offering. We are responsible to give offerings to the poor and needy (Proverbs 28:27). Of course there are many worthy missionaries and ministries that we give to after our tithe. There it is…simple, easy to apply, practical and true.
Another common question is, “Should we tithe on the net (wages I receive after my taxes are paid) or the gross (wages I receive before the taxes are paid)?” I don’t honestly know which works better because we have always tithed on our gross income. As Christians, we should desire to give everything we possibly can back to God because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. Tithing demonstrates God’s ownership of everything.
See…God does not need our tithe check or direct deposit. He is not nervously, laying off angels because we are not tithing. No…the tithe benefits us. It is a privilege to return to God what is already His, and man do we benefit. According to Malachi chapter 3:10, the tithe benefits us. The windows of heaven are opened on us to the point of overflow!