What Does The Bible Say About Tithing?
Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. The issue is over-emphasized in some churches while, at the same time, some Christians refuse to follow the biblical teachings about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing (giving) is intended to be a joy and a blessing but that is not always the case in the church today.
In the Old Testament the tithe was the requirement for every Israelite to give 10% of what he earned or grew to support the Temple. In fact, Old Testament law required multiple tithes which added up to about 23.3% of income. Old Testament tithes were, more or less, a taxation to support the priests and the Levites. The New Testament does not command, or even recommend, that Christians submit to this legalistic tithe system.
In Corinthians, Paul says that believers should set aside a portion of their incomes to support the church. The New Testament does not designate a percentage that a person set aside only the it is to “in keeping with income” (1 Cor 16:2). The New Testament talks about the importance and benefits of giving. We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means more than 10%, sometimes less. It depends on the ability of the giver and the needs of the church. Every Christian should pray and seek God’s wisdom in the matter of giving. Above all, tithes and offerings should be given with pure motives and an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ.
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7).