“Do I Have to Tithe?”

“Do I have to tithe?”

I get asked this question all the time.

I always wonder what the question behind the question is here…..

“Do I have to tithe?”….to do what exactly?

To go to heaven?
To be blessed financially?
To stay on God’s good side?

Well, my answer to this question may surprise you.

No. You don’t have to tithe.

You get to.

God loves you and His grace is available to you freely, even if you don’t tithe. It’s not a salvation issue, believe it or not.

But, my experience tells me that the best way to manage your money is by doing what God tells us to do with it. And He tells us in His word to give the first tenth to Him.
If you earn $100, God gets $10.
If you earn $500, God gets $50.

Not because you have to. But because you get to participate in the work of the local church and manage your money the way God’s word calls us to.

And you’ll never regret it.

Oh, it might be difficult sometimes. You might think about all the other things you could do with that money….saving for the future, much-needed house repairs, and a nice family vacation. You may feel the financial squeeze of giving, but you won’t regret doing it.

And here’s the really fun part: You can’t out-give God. He will always be more generous with us than we are with Him. He’s a giver. It’s in His very nature to give to His children.

You can’t out-give God.

But it sure is fun trying.

Now, some of you may be saying, “Sounds great. But there’s no way I could give 10% of my income. We need every bit of that money for bills and food and gas.”

And I get it. I do. I spent the early years of my adult life as a musician and then a pastor. I planted churches that were very small. I was always bi-vocational and money was tight. But even then I wanted to honor God with a tenth of my income the way His word says.

I’ll tell you where it starts: The Budget.

[*insert collective groan*]

Most of us hate budgeting. It can feel restrictive and limiting. Not to mention just plain boring. Plus, when finances are out of control it can actually be quite painful to take an honest look at where things are at financially.

But it’s the only way. [*insert second collective groan*]

I challenge you this week to sit down and do a monthly budget. (If you’re married, do a budget with your spouse).

There are lots of helpful budgeting tools online. Simply start with your income, and subtract your expenses. And see if you can manage to give. If you’re able, 10% is a good starting point. If you can’t give 10%, give what you can and ask God to help you reduce your expenses, and/or increase your income.

And then keep showing up each month to do a budget and watch God help you turn your finances around.

I believe in you! There’s so much peace in managing money God’s way.

I hope you find peace in your finances.

“And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.” -Philemon 1:6

One Response to ““Do I Have to Tithe?””

  1. Ira Bailey

    How can you be certain a person won’t regret sacrificing financially to give? People regret all kinds of things and sometimes folks are already in a position where they earn less than life’s basic expenses. Will God accept if a person’s life consists of work work work church, repeat? Why did He create a world where everything, including the expansion of His kingdom, runs by money?