I emphasize that I’m not a pastor because people have their biases when it comes to pastors talking about money. I grew up in the church. I’ve heard all the scriptures pastors used to get people to tithe—you know the ones from the Old Testament like Malachi 3:8.
At the end of the day we all die whether we tithe or don’t tithe. And we all can go to heaven whether we tithe or don’t tithe. Tithing doesn’t make you a better Christian than other Christians.
So why tithe? There are two reasons why I tithe. The practical and the spiritual.
The practical reason to tithe is because the church relies on money to run the ministry. In the practical sense the church is a business, and it relies on it’s church members to keep running.
I’ve heard people arguing against paying tithes because all you’re doing is paying the church bills. In the practical sense yes, you are paying the church bills. But being a member of a Church doesn’t make you obligated to pay tithes like how a gym obligates you to pay a monthly fee to use their equipment.
As Christians we are blessed to be a blessing. When we don’t have a desire to be a blessing then we have a desire to be selfish. I wrote an article before arguing against tithing because I wanted to be selfish and spend my money my way. I looked at tithing as taking away money that I could spend on my credit card debt. Credit card debt I accumulated because I bought whatever I desired instead of seeking wisdom from God on how to be a good steward.
Can you be a generous person and a good steward of finances without tithing? Of course. Being a cheerful giver at anything makes you generous. The main purpose of tithing is showing that God is the source and your income is a resource. God is the provider for all things and money helps manage what God has given you.
The spiritual side of tithing is to remind us that we are managers of God’s money. When you think of yourself as a manager of God’s money, then tithing becomes easy because you’re just giving back to God what he already owns. I used to look at tithing as giving away money that I own.
When you look at your money as money that you own then you’re going to spend according to your desires. Most peoples’ desires fall into the world’s desires. The world encourages us to spend money on expensive things to make us look important. To show our self-value.
But when you believe God is the owner of your money then you will show your value through your actions and God’s Will for your life. Not because you’re driving a Benz, wearing Gucci, or have a PhD. It’s nothing wrong with having all these things. My pastor has a big house, drives a Mercedes, and has multiple college degrees. The difference is he gives God all the glory for it. He doesn’t believe he has these things according to his own volition. And he doesn’t tie his self-worth to the things he owns.
Being a good steward is not about living as frugal as possible and saving as much as possible. It’s about spending money on things that add value to your life. A healthy diet can be more expensive than eating fast food and tv dinners but spending more money to have a healthy life makes you a better steward than buying from McDonald’s dollar menu every day.
Tithing humbles us so that whatever blessings come we give God the credit for it. When we don’t tithe and increase in our finances, we believe that it’s all because of our own doing. That produces arrogance and the feeling that we owe nobody nothing because we got it on our own so everyone else can get it on their own. There’s a huge lack of generosity in that statement and the less generous you are the more selfish you are.