There is one discussion that’ll always draw a big debate among Christians, and that is the issue of whether we are commanded to tithe. Views on tithing vary among Christians. One view is that we are commanded to tithe and if we don’t, we are cursed with a curse as Malachi says. Another view is that tithing is an eternal principle, so it goes beyond the Law of Moses and Christians should abide by it to see God’s blessing. A third view is that Christians must break free from giving due to fear and religious rhetoric. As you can see, there’s a wide range of views on tithing.
I’d be saving myself from the debate if I didn’t tell you that I fall on the side of not tithing at all, which may shock some of those who know me, because I still attend a church that practices tithing. I’m a member, even though I disagree with the practice, because I believe in the work that God is doing in the ministry. So I give faithfully with the mindset that I give to where the work of God is.
I may write on tithing in a future post, but in this piece I felt it necessary to challenge how we think on giving to the work of God as a whole. I believe that it’s important to know the heart of God, and what He is doing through the body, so that we can give financially to that need. If we’re so focused on whether we tithe or not, we miss the greater reality of God’s influence in human society.
There are many organizations where people are doing God’s work outside of a particular church. Whether they are parachurch organizations or charities, there are needs that God is using His people to address, and they can be strengthened by your financial support.
What if we thought of giving in such a comprehensive way that we go beyond the focus of whether we are commanded to tithe? We almost do it now when we do fundraisers or after tragedies happen, but what if we practiced giving more intentionally to various ministry organizations? Would our outlook on financial giving change?
We can easily convince ourselves that we’re generous because we faithfully give to our churches, but it may not always be the case. It may be that we’re just good at following a set pattern, as if we and God set up an account for direct deposit and we don’t think much about it. Or the only time we pray over the money we give is during offering time. The heart God has for giving goes far beyond what we make it sometimes.
It’s funny how the topic of giving weighed on my heart again with the holiday season upon us because I wrote about giving last year, and I am still growing in this mindset. Let’s all continue growing together!