Psalms 24:1 declares, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,” and in 1 Corinthians 4:7, Paul asks, “And what do you have that you did not receive?”
God owns everything and all blessings come from Him. We are to be good stewards – managers – of the many blessings for which we should be thankful. Money isn’t our possession; it’s God’s possession, which we hold in trust.
Giving is an external testimony of God’s ownership of everything in our lives. And tithing is one of the first standards of giving found in the Bible – Abraham tithed 430 years before the Law was given to Moses.
- Under the law in the Old Testament, giving a tithe was required.
- The tithe is not a limit. God’s people in the Old Testament were to give nearly one-fourth of their income each year.
- God doesn’t own just 10 percent of our money; He owns the other 90 percent too.
- Tithe and give with the right attitude. Not out of necessity, but with thanksgiving to the Lord.
- Let your children witness your joyful giving and teach them the importance of commitment.
Beyond The Tithe
Giving beyond the tithe should be an outward material expression of the spiritual commitment of a willing and obedient heart.
When giving beyond the tithe, give out of your abundance, according to the principle taught in 2 Corinthians 8:14.
Faith promise – A commitment to give a certain amount. It’s understood that if God doesn’t provide the funds, you’re not obligated to give them.
Pledge – An absolute commitment to pay something. This type of giving is presumptuous, but a faith promise is scriptural. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Non-cash – This includes your time or services to an organization or gifts such as food, furniture, and clothing. You may also give gifts with appreciated values (an asset you bought at a low price that is now worth much more), such as stocks, bonds, real estate, or anything that grows in value.
Draw the line on borrowing – It is not scriptural to borrow in order to give. It requires little trust to borrow money. In the Scriptures God never uses a loan to manifest His will in the lives of His people.
Balanced approach to sacrificial giving – Sacrificing to give is a way to honor God, but this should be the result of a heart attitude and not a desire to impress others.
Remember that God is more concerned about the attitude of your heart in giving than the percentage or the amount given. Nevertheless, the minimum He asks His people to give is the tithe.
Answer courtesy of Crown Financial Ministries, used with permission.