~my thoughts about life~

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My 10%

I don't know why I felt the need to blog about this but maybe someone needs to hear it.  I know that not everyone who reads this blog believes like I do.  I am not trying to push my beliefs on you; I'm just sharing what's in my heart today.

As a Christian, I have seen people who feel that paying one's tithes is optional.  I had some friends who always paid their tithes...."if there was enough left over."  I think some people don't understand the purpose of tithe paying.  Maybe their church doesn't talk about it much.  Maybe they didn't have tithe paying parents as role models.  Maybe they do understand the importance but they just don't have enough faith to see how it will work.  Are you one of these people?

Going back to the friends of mine...the husband was raised by a single mother.  They didn't have enough to go around.  They attended church from time to time, but it was more to seek help from the church than to have an active role.  This man has come a long way since then.  He married a beautiful woman and had two children.  He wasn't able to go to college but had always had a descent job.  They rent a house in a nice neighborhood and are relatively happy.  But money has always been tight.  While talking with my husband about tithing, the man mentioned that he believes in tithing but doesn't always have enough left at the end of the month.  Adding up the numbers, it just doesn't work out. 

My husband, surprised by what he heard, explained to his friend that he was doing it all wrong.  You don't pay your tithes if you have enough left.  You pay your tithes first and have faith that God will provide all you need.  If you don't have faith, why would God bless the tithe you pay only sometimes?  This friend and his wife changed the way they did things.  They wrote their tithe check before they wrote checks for any other bills.  Their marriage problems diminished, they could suddenly afford a new car, and they found true happiness in the church. 

Another friend of mine told me she always paid her tithes but did it grudgingly.  She wasn't a cheerful giver and felt bitter about giving 10% of her income before taking any for herself.  She said that she received a revelation one day - something snapped and she finally got it.  She changed the manner in which she paid her tithes and said that life changed for the better.  They never struggled financially, but when they became cheerful givers, God blessed their lives in ways beyond explanation.

If you are not giving your 10%, you are cheating yourself.  God wants to bless your money.  He wants to enrich your life.  But if you don't trust in Him and have the faith that He will see you through, He can't work in the ways He wants.

If you want to be a successful tither and see God's blessings in your life, remember these tips:
  • Be a cheerful giver.  Thank God that you have money to tithe on.
  • Tithe first.  Before you pay the electric bill, cell phone bill, or cable bill, pay your tithes.  It demonstrates your faith.
  • Tithe consistently.  Don't miss a week.  You're only cheating yourself.
  • Pray that God will bless your tithe.  You don't always get to see where it goes or what purpose it serves, but your tithe is going to further the Kingdom of God.
  • Teach these things to your children.  Start at a young age.  If they see you tithing, they will learn that it's a part of life that requires no questioning.  Encourage them to give 10% of any money they make.  Seeing my kids put a dime in our tithing envelope thrills me to no end.  Start them off on the right track.
Even if you must answer anonymously, tell me- are you a tither?  Do you "get it?"  Is it something you struggle with or does it come naturally?  If you recently began paying tithes, how has it changed your life?  I'm interested in hearing what you have to say!


Gary Arnold said...

I find it odd that pastors teach that the tithe is the first 10% of your income.

The Biblical tithe is defined in Leviticus 27:30-33 to be a tenth of the crops (not the first tenth) and every tenth animal in herds and flocks (the LAST ONE out of every ten). The Biblical tithe could NEVER be the first of anything.

In Nehemiah 10:37 we learn that the firstfruits were taken to the temple for the priests, and the tithes were taken to the Levites who lived in the Levitical cities.

In Nehemiah 10:38 we learn that the Levites would take a tithe of the tithe to the Temple. It is this tithe, the tithe from the Levites, that went to the storehouse, not the tithe from the people.

Leviticus 27:30-33 defines this tithe as a tenth of crops and animals in herds and flocks.
Numbers 18 gives the ordinances, or instructions, for this tithe, and commands this tithe be taken to the Levites.
Purpose of this tithe: to support the Levitical Priesthood.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27: aka The Festival Tithe - a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.
Purpose of this tithe: “that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always”

Deuteronomy 14:28-29: aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe - a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.
Purpose of this tithe: to feed the poor.

The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus did not tithe as a carpenter. Paul did not tithe as a tent maker. Peter did not tithe as a fisherman.

Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

2 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

The New Testament makes it clear that we are to use the FIRST of our income to take care of ourselves and our family. We are talking about needs, here, not just anything we want. Then we should give generously from what is left.

The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

Christians don't tithe. Jesus already paid the price.

Cory said...

Wow... I am so afraid of "that mans" ^^^ understanding. I believe just as you, and have failed at tithing for years. I never do it with a bad feeling. I just do not have a husband that believes as me,and so have not been consistent. I am working on it, cuz I know it is the right thing! Thanks for posting this.

imagesisee.blogspot.com said...

I'm almost speechless after reading that first comment. Addressing any of those statements would take pages and pages, so I'll pass on that.

I agree with your post. I remember the first time I wrote a check for my tithe. I was shaking a little and was very nervous, but when I was in church and put the check in the collection plate I was sooooo excited. I've tithed ever since and God has been completely faithful to His Word. There were times that were tough financially, but, miraculously, there was always enough money to meet the bills.

We can't out-give God and tithing is one way to test that (and God encourages us to test Him).

I don't have a story about how tithing changed my life, but I know that it enhances my walk with God and it's an obedience to Him that He honors.

~she~ said...

Wow, what a comment. I don't understand why some people search the web just to find an argument. I have better things to do with my time.