Should Christians Tithe?

This is quite a common question, and in some church cultures the answer is ‘of course’.  There is a strong culture in some churches and Christian circles which insists that tithing is what all Christians should do.

‘Tithe’ means ‘a tenth’ or, in more modern terms ‘10%’.  Its what God instructed the ancient Israelites to provide as their annual offering, its what Abraham gave to Melchizedek, the priest of God in Salem.  And so, the thinking goes, Christians should give 10% of what they earn to God.

But this isn’t true, and can foster the completely wrong attitude towards God.  People who insist that it is the Christian duty to give 10% of all they earn to God are in danger of thinking that once they have done so, the rest of the money they earn is theirs.  If  you split something into ‘God’s and mine’ you are misunderstanding the nature of being Christian.

Because once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we understand that we are his.  There is no separation between God’s and mine, but all that we have is God’s.  In response to the love and forgiveness that God gives us in Jesus, we are to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.  And so we consequently give to, and support God’s work and God’s servants, with whatever we can afford and think is right.

How much we give is between God and us, and is no-one else’s business.  God is not interested in whether you have given 10%.  God is interested in whether you are following Jesus whole-heartedly.

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