What is tithing?
Tithing is giving of what the Lord blesses you with, commonly 10% or more of what you earn back to God (Genesis 14:19-20 and Leviticus 27:30).
Why do we tithe?
God ordained for us to support the pastor and for the service of the church according to 1 Corinthians 9 (Read it before continuing). Although it is not explicitly stated to give a tithe of 10% many OT rules and practices can be applied to our living nowadays with good reason, and giving to God is one of the practices seen throughout the Bible. In the OT the money, food and materials given by the Israelites were used to sustain the Levites and seen in creating a place of worship. In the same way our churches have to allocate money for the maintenance and creation of the church building, use amenities like electricity, and also support the Pastor. Many Pastors are full-time workers of the church meaning that their livelihood may very well depend on how much the church gives. We need to support the church in any way possible, through time, materials or money in the same way the Levites lived on tithes. Do not withhold what a brother has need of, James 4:17
How Much do I tithe?
Give what you can, as the widow in Mark 12:41-44 gave all that she had despite it amounting to very little but it is permissible if you cannot as the willingness to give is the more important matter here, 2 Corinthians 8:12. With the majority of people having regulated paycheck you can give the portion the week you receive it but for those who don’t Paul spoke of giving weekly out of what “God hath prospered him” (1 Corinthians 16). It’s not necessarily what you tithe either, Leviticus 27 also records land and animals being dedicated but nowadays the most common way to give is by giving 10% (or more) of your wages like Abraham and Jacob (Genesis 14:20). Something you need to consider about your money is that all of it is God’s blessing to you and you need to think of it not as “How much do I give?” but “How much do I need to retain?” (See 1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Chron. 29:14). Many places in the NT shows believers giving not just 10% but their property, time, money, abilities. To those unable to give or don’t have jobs but have time, here is a suggestion, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Cor. 15:58. Money isn’t all that you can give to God. We can give Him our time and our skills but most importantly, our hearts.
*Give blessings, not just gifts. For further reading I recommend reading “Tithing – The Privilege of Christian Stewardship” by Peter Masters.