Last year, our small group raised some money to help a family in need. I gave some money to that effort but then I reduced my tithe for that month. My reasoning was this: I gave money to a needy family in the name of God, so I’ll just consider that part of my tithe. That sounds fair enough. But is it right?
My answer a few years ago would have been a firm ‘Yes’. My answer today is a firm ‘No’. Here’s why…
We Are a Family
The church of Jesus Christ is a tight-knit family of believers. In fact, we have more in common with brothers and sisters in Christ than with siblings of similar DNA. We are God’s family united by the blood of Christ. We are the household of God.
We Pay the Bills…
In my household, I make sure there is enough money to pay the mortgage, the electric bill, the food bill and everything else. In God’s household, we are responsible for making sure those same bills are paid. That raises the importance of tithing to a whole new level for me.
Would you stop paying your bills?
You make every effort to pay your own bills in your own household. Would you stop paying your bills to help a friend? No. After all, if you don’t pay your electric bill, you’ve stolen electricity. If you don’t pay your mortgage, you’ve stolen from the bank. In the same way, the tithe is what God uses to pay the bills in His household. We should not take from God’s tithe to give to an outside need. Instead, we should trust God by giving on top of the tithe.
God doesn’t need our money. He wants our heart. If you can’t afford to help others outside your tithe, then look for ways to cut back spending. If you’ve already done that, then pray. Pray that God will show you ways to bless people. Maybe that means giving your time instead of just giving your money. Pray earnestly that God will use you to bless others and bring them to Christ.
What do you think?
Thats my thinking on the topic. I’m anxious to know what you guys think. Please feel free to leave your comments below.