Consider Tithing – A Joyful Benchmark not a Burdensome Command
by Abiding Love
The term “tithe” refers to God’s Word spoken to the Old Testament Israelites to give 10% of the wealth and prosperity back to the Lord as a thank offering. Unfortunately, there have been times in later history when the church-state wrongly treated the tithe as a tax imposed on its people.
So what should we make of the idea of a tithe today? Here are some helpful considerations regarding your offerings and the tithe:
When we give, we are responding to God’s grace. Tithing serves as a guide to our giving. Without the tithe, we would lack guidance as to what would be an appropriate response to God’s goodness. Through faith, many brothers and sisters at Abiding Love give well beyond the tithe.
In the book Holy Smoke! What ever Happened to Tithing? J. Cliff Christopher and Herb Mather wrote, “The tithe is a benchmark along a journey rather than a mark of having arrived at the destination. When we travel on highways today, we need roads, signposts, and other benchmarks such as motels, restaurants, and gas stations. These are institutions. Their purpose is to serve the public on its journey. Likewise, benchmarks such as tithing serve the person on the spiritual journey.”
Tithing is no longer a requirement, but it can still serve as a proper benchmark for our faithful response to God for who he is and what he has done for us. The big issue for us today? God doesn’t FORCE us to give. Instead, through Christ, he gives us the gift of being able to give. May God help us to see this key difference!
Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). Because Jesus kept the law of tithing perfectly for us, we are no longer living under a command to tithe. However, living in the grace and forgiveness of Christ, we are asked to give freely (Matthew 10:8) and generously (1 Corinthians 16:2). The tithe can now serve as a joyful benchmark instead of a burdensome command.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
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