In the Bible, people gave various gifts to God, for various purposes. People had a duty to give, both for the work of God and to help the poor. We see in Scripture that God’s people gave a tithe, which was a tenth of their income. Not to give the tithe, was to cheat God.
Although it was a duty to give these gifts, God wanted His people to give with glad and grateful hearts, so He made wonderful promises to His people if they obeyed Him. He would show His kindness to them; they would see that a blessing would come from Him.
In my early years when I went to church with my family, when the basket was passed for donations, my parents would drop something in the basket. As an adult I did the same, I would drop in five or ten dollars. I knew that I was expected to give to the church, but had no idea what the Bible taught about giving.
In 2 Corinthians 9:7, we are challenged, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Tithing was a difficult principle for me to learn as a new Christian. I really struggled to believe that God would ask me to give the first 10% of my income. I was ok with five or ten dollars, but 10%? My wife would try to help me understand what it meant to tithe and showed me different Scriptures includingLuke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” I also spoke to our pastor about it; he too gave me Scripture to read and explained to me that I needed to pray about it. My wife had also been telling me to pray about it.
A few weeks later the pastor and I spoke again about tithing, he asked if I had been praying about it. I said yes, I then asked him, “Should my tithe from our paychecks be “net or gross?” He just laughed at me and said, “Just give from your heart!”
I still did not understand tithing, but I wanted to obey what the Bible taught, so from that time and going forward, I started to tithe. Sometime within that year, I was at a work conference in Baltimore. They gave away many prizes throughout the conference. On the last day of the conference, they gave away the grand prize. It was a brand-new PT Cruiser. This was the year that they first introduced the car. God blessed me, and I won the car!
There were about 10,000 people in attendance. In my excitement, I called my wife and told her about winning the car. The first thing she said was “I told you that you cannot out-give God!” That is so true!
I am not saying God will give you a new car, but He will meet your every need.
Giving should come from the right heart. Each Christian should give out of obedience. What we give will look different for each one of us. God looks at the heart that gave it.
“For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:21