Don't tithe...give instead!

No, you did not misread the title, and no one else is writing this article using my name. Yes, you read this correctly (and from a pastor) that you should stop tithing.

Now that you have picked yourself up from the floor, let me share with you some reasons why.

Tithing is law-oriented. Tithing is the giving of 10% of your income to God and was a requirement under the Mosaic Laws (Laws of Moses). Abraham and Jacob both tithed before the law was introduced, and their examples became a forerunner and part of the law. Tithing was required for three specific reasons: the support of the Levites and Priests (Numbers 18:21-26), the upkeep of the Temple in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 14:21-26), and the care for the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-29). Therefore, by the time Jesus was on the scene, He would also pay this tax as required by the law. Of course, He paid it as only the Son of God could, by having Peter go down the lake, catch a fish, and pull a coin from its mouth to pay the tax! (Matthew 17:24-27)

It’s not that those three things are not needed today; they still are. Church buildings need to be maintained, pastors should be paid, and the poor ought to be cared for. However, how we approach tithing and giving is now different because of Jesus Christ. Here’s how:

Giving is grace-oriented. Jesus freed us from the requirements of following the Mosaic law. We are no longer under the law; now we are under grace. Therefore, our giving, as our salvation, is tied to grace which is a gift from God, not a requirement. We are not required to tithe. Rather, we give not out of obligation, but out of love and gratitude for the gift of grace we have been given through Jesus Christ. This changes the whole perspective of giving from a requirement to a joyful outpouring in response to God’s gift of grace. And this leads to final reason of why you should give:

Joy trumps Obligation. In one of the most clear instructions on giving shared in the New Testament, The Apostle Paul writes, “Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). This is what giving looks like under the covenant of grace: joy not obligation, generosity not tithing. No one is required to give, and anything that you do give should bring you joy. You should be happy, willing, and even excited to give whatever the amount.

If you have ever given because of pressure or if giving makes you angry or resentful, then stop. Don’t give because you have to; give because you want to. Remember this when it comes to giving: Why you give is more important than what you give.

I hope you will give and that you will give joyfully no matter the amount. I hope you will give because of joy for what Jesus has done in your life and the gift of grace you have received from Him. I hope you will give because you are free under God’s grace and no longer under the law.

I hope you will give and not tithe!

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