Within some churches, everyone who attends is encouraged to give 10% of their income to the church. This is called tithing – in the Old Testament the Israelites were required to “tithe” (give 10% of their income) to pay for the priests in their temple. Although many Christians tithe, there is nothing in the New Testament that suggests tithing must still be done. In fact, it’s clear that we are no longer under the law of Moses, but under grace.So instead of automatically giving 10%, (which would be easy to calculate), we must now decide for ourselves how much to give. This may sound like a relief but I think it actually makes it harder to decide how much to give. There’s no doubt our sinful nature tells us to keep as much as possible, and give away as little as possible. At this point it might be helpful to remember the famous words:
Only one life,
‘Twill soon be past
Only what’s done
For Christ will last.
So what percentage are we to give? Well the Bible doesn’t give a percentage, it gives a principle instead. Give generously.
But how generous should we be? Is 50% generous, is 30% generous, is 5% generous? Like all things we are to imitate Jesus, who was so generous as to give his whole life, and die and face the judgement of God in our place. Jesus becomes our model of generosity.
The Bible also tells us to decide in our heart how much to give, so that we can give cheerfully, not reluctantly or under compulsion.
A wise man once told me when it comes to giving, let the decision be yours, the principle be generosity and the model Christ crucified.