Tithing: “Financial Baptism”
What is a Tithe?
The Bible says a tithe is a tenth.
The entire tithe of the herd and flock – every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod – will be holy to the Lord. – Leviticus 27:32
In the Old Testament, God’s people would give a tenth of their crops or animals to God. This was a gesture to indicate that the people realized that God owned the land and had blessed His people. The tithe would be used to support the priests and Levites, and to help the poor.
Should the Tithe be Gross or Net?
If you are not familiar with these terms, gross means you spill something nasty on your money. No, just having a little fun! Gross means your pay before taking out taxes and other withholdings. Net means after taxes and withholdings. So is the tithe calculated on the gross or net? Gross. Proverbs 3:9 says,
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.
Does the Tithe Still Apply Today?
Yes. People who know the Bible better than I do, say that tithing is an Old Testament, pre-new covenant principle and no longer applies today. I say it still applies today. Why? First of all, my focus is on biblical money principles not New Testament money principles. Second, God says:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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 you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit.” Says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. – Malachi 3: 6-12
If God says he will bless us if we tithe, we should take that seriously. God actually says to test Him in this. So, go ahead and test Him. Start tithing and see if He doesn’t bless you. Will the blessing be more money? Maybe not. Maybe it will be some other way. Although, I think Malachi 3 is clearly speaking of financial blessing.
Personally, tithing was one of the smartest things I have ever done. I didn’t do it to force God to bless me or to get rich. I did it because I wanted to honor Him with my finances and be obedient.
Tithing is a tangible way to take a step of faith to show God that we trust Him. In my experience, God responds when we take the first step. It’s true of salvation. We have to take the step of believing. Then, we are to be baptized to tangibly show that we have made a commitment to Christ. Tithing is like financial baptism. It’s taking a tangible first step to tell God that you trust Him with your money.
What is your experience with tithing? I would love to hear from you.
Have a question or comment? Can I pray for you? Contact me. Thanks for reading and God bless you.
Want more on this topic? Visit the Biblical Money Principles archives.