Tithe is a small word that holds big meaning in the Bible
When was the last time you heard the word ‘tithe?’ Odds are, it doesn’t come up in your daily conversations all that often.
Just because the word may not be used daily doesn’t mean tithing holds little significance in the Christian community. In fact, the term ‘tithe’ is a concept that is sacred in the Holy Bible.
So, what is a tithe anyway and what does tithing mean, and is it Biblical?
A ‘tithe’ is defined as the equivalent of a tenth. In the Bible, starting in the Old Testament, a tithe is when a person gives ten percent of their earnings, food, crops, or possessions to others. This could be seen as a sacrifice, gesture, or a good deed among God.
In the Old Testament, Abraham and Jacob offered a tithe to God in Genesis 14.
Genesis 14:19-20: “And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of Heaven and Earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
It seems a little crazy to think about giving away or tithing ten percent of your annual income, right?
Some say that Tithing is Biblical but it’s not necessarily Christian. Tithing was something that took place under Mosaic Law.
From a modern Christian standpoint, follows of Jesus are to be generous and to give. Jesus is the most generous and giving person on Earth and in Heaven. Christians believe that he sacrificed his perfect life in Heaven to come and save everyone from their sins on Earth. When you think it from that standpoint, ten percent of your earnings may seem insignificant in comparison.
Because of Jesus and his compassionate nature, Christians support being generous and giving to the less fortunate; whether that be through volunteer work, donating food to local shelters, or being an active member in the Christian community, any form of generosity is essential.
So, tithing can be shown in different ways, even if Christians don’t feel obligated to give money. In the Old Testament, giving away bread and wine was considered a huge gesture.
Today, tithe can be proven in other ways besides giving away money and possessions. Giving away ten percent of your time to helping others and making the world a better place may be just as beneficial.
Tithing is an essential part of being a Christian, but what does that really mean in today’s society?
There has been a debate over the past 2,000 plus years over what it means to truly tithe. Is there a difference between tithing and just simply being generous?
The debate goes like this: According to the Old Testament, Christ never stops enforcing the act of tithing. Since Jesus still upholds the tithe, some Christians believe they must, too.
Those who believe in the tithe today still give ten percent of their earnings to their local church or another organization in need. Other Christians believe that since the term ‘tithe’ was never commanded again in the New Testament, acting with generosity is just as important.
They believe in giving to others as much as they can, without necessarily giving ten percent of their annual earnings.
So, should you tithe?
There is no set in stone answer. Nobody can tell you whether or not to tithe besides you and the big guy upstairs. In order to fully decide if tithing is an important part of your faith, study up on tithe in the Bible and ask your counselor at Church for their thoughts and opinions.
If you think Christians are required to tithe, then giving ten percent of your earnings away is the step you need to take. If you believe Christians need to be generous, then offering your time and any amount of money to an organization in need is your next step.
There should be no judgment from the Christian community on practicing tithe or not – as long as you offer yourself and your services to God, you are doing your part within the Christian faith.
If you desire to tithe, but financial limitations are holding you back, start by slowly giving ten percent of your time away to God. Try to live a generous and fulfilled life, and God will take care of the rest.
Where can you find out more about tithing and giving from a Biblical standpoint? Here are three more Bible verses and quotes that relate to the tithe:
1. When to give a 10th.
“…this stone which I have put up for a pillar will be God’s house: and of all you give me, I will give a tenth part to you.” — Genesis 28:20-22
2. On giving what you have.
They came, men and women, all who were ready to give, and gave pins and nose-rings and finger-rings and neck-ornaments, all of gold; everyone gave an offering of gold to the Lord.” — Exodus 35:22
3. Planning ahead to tithe.
“Put on one side a tenth of all the increase of your seed, produced year by year.” — Deuteronomy 14:22