By Lary Poole
Why has tithing become so divisive in the church today?
Most people simply don’t understand tithing.
To many Christians, it seems like some sort of country club due. Another bill in the long list of monthly expenses.
Giving is supposed to be an act of worship that draws you closer to the heart of God.
Then why is it that the concept of tithing, giving the first 10 percent of one’s income, has become so divisive in the church?
Christians debate questions like:
Is tithing still even required? Wasn’t it an Old Testament law? Didn’t Christ abolish the law with His death and resurrection?
Should I tithe off the gross or net of my income?
Does God really expect me to tithe if I’m struggling in my personal finances?
I “tithe” my time to the church. Isn’t that enough?
These questions all have the same recurring theme—what’s the least I can give and still receive God’s blessings.
When you debate these questions, you totally miss the point.
Biblical generosity isn’t about giving the minimum. It’s about surrendering it all to an all-powerful, all-loving God. A God who gaveeverything in his son Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
Randy Alcorn said it best: “Giving affirms Christ’s lordship. It dethrones me and exalts Him.”
I used to write checks to my church that looked like this: $112.14.
To the penny. Nothing more. Nothing less.
“There’s my 10 percent God. Hopefully that’ll cover the upkeep in Heaven until my next paycheck. Now bless me.”
I didn’t get it.
God didn’t need my money.
He wanted proof that He was first in my life. He wanted me to trust Him completely. He wanted to grow my faith.
And yes, He wanted to bless my finances tremendously. But only if I trusted Him completely.
As I began to mature in my spiritual walk, it all started to make sense.
Everything belongs to God (Psalm 24:1). The more I trust Him with my finances, the more He can use me to reveal His glory. The more I get to be a conduit for His miracles, the more my faith gets to be tested and grown.
And that’s why I quit tithing.
Don’t hear me wrong. I still give the first 10 percent of my income to God through my local church. I think 10 percent is a great starting point.
But I’ve started asking a different question. A question that’s radically changing my life.
It’s no longer, “How much should I give?”
Instead, I’ve started asking, “How much should I keep?”
And I’m no different from you. I’m an average guy. I’m not a millionaire. I’m not expecting a windfall of cash from a rich relative any time in the near future.
I just recognize that my God is sufficient to meet and exceed all my needs.
I believe God when He says:
“Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.“ (Malachi 3:10b)
When the Holy Spirit prompts me, I respond.
I can’t say it’s always easy. But I can promise you that it’s taking me to spiritual heights I’ve never experienced before. The character of God is being revealed to me in a whole new way.
Is it possible that you’re limiting God with your giving?
Maybe you’re obedient with the first 10 percent, but completely unwilling when the Holy Spirit prompts you further.
Perhaps God is calling you to do more financially than you’ve ever done before.
Instead of being comfortable, maybe it’s time for you to give in a way that’s going to require FAITH again.
It probably won’t be easy. But it will be worth it.
God doesn’t just want your first 10 percent. He wants your whole heart.
What are some ways God has used you as you’ve taken “faith steps” in your personal generosity?