The choice to tithe is a highly debated topic in many circles. While people often boast about their credit score, which is a measure of debt, rarely do people share their tithing status which is a measure of love. The word itself means a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization.
I have been a tither all of my life and was taught to do so as a young child. While I’m glad that my mother instilled it in me it, it did not remove my natural tendency to believe that what I earned was 100% mine. I will admit that as a teenager and young adult, I tithed because I was told to. But now as an adult, I tithe out of my love, obedience and appreciation for all that God has done for me. I do not live in a cloud of delusion that my life is solely from my doing. Money, which has a spirit of its own, can cloud our understanding and mislead us to believe that money is all that we need.
My Life is Not My Own
Tithing and giving reminds me that my life is not my own. They are both tangible expressions to God that I trust Him more than I trust money.
Trust and reliance.
Isn’t that what God wanted from the children of Israel?
Because He had chosen them, He desired that they would always choose Him and allow Him to show that He was trustworthy and faithful. God clearly knew, both then and now, that money would not solve all of their problems. He knew that finite resources could never replace His infinite power and love. For some problems in my life, money alone was not the answer. Sometimes I needed just His joy, peace, or forgiveness.
I Believe in Sowing and Reaping
God is fluid and dynamic. Have you ever watched the clouds and noticed how without effort they shift, come together and then move apart? Or what about seeds? How can something smaller than the tip of your fingernail grow fruits and vegetables that are bigger than your hand? That’s sowing and reaping. The belief that what I have today, albeit small, has potential to grow into something great tomorrow. God requires that type of faith from us.
I have greater peace when I tithe. This past week, we received some additional income and I didn’t automatically transfer a tenth of it into our spending account (as I normally would) so that we could tithe it this past Sunday. It gnawed and gnawed at me and I simply had this feeling that something wasn’t right. I grabbed my phone, transferred the funds over and paid our tithes immediately! I began to feel so. much. better.
I never want to get to a place in life where I forget Who is truly in control.
Here are some interesting facts about tithers based on a 5-year study conducted by State of the Plate.
2013 Notable State of the Plate findings:
- 77% of those who tithe give 11%-20% or more of their income, far more than the baseline of 10%
- 97% make it a priority to give to their local church
- 70% “tithe” based on their gross income, not their net
- 63% started giving 10% or more between childhood and their twenties
Tithers carry much less debt than most people and are financially better off than Christian non-tithers.
- 80% of tithers have no unpaid credit card bills
- 74% have no car payments
- 48% own their home
- 28% are completely debt-free
The report also went on to say…
What keeps non-tithing Christians from giving:
- 38% say they can’t afford it
- 33% say they have too much debt
- 18% said their spouse does not agree about tithing
On the winning team,