I know what the Bible says, but…
When it comes to tithing, I hear so many excuses. The bottom line is this – most Christians are educated far beyond their means of obedience. We know what the Bible says, but find creative ways to disobey. We’ll say things like:
I know what the Bible says, but… I don’t trust the church.
First off, If you don’t trust the church you attend, then why are you there? Secondly, we’ve got to have a shift in our understanding about money. When we give, we’re giving to God. As a pastor, I hold God’s money in the highest of regard. We don’t waste money. We never abuse money. Why? It’s God’s. Someday, I’ll be held responsible for the way I’ve managed what God has entrusted to our church.
As a Christ-Follower, I’d rather give, trusting God, knowing that I can get burned by a church, then to not give because I don’t trust. At the end of the day, I’m responsible for my heart. Giving breaks the hold of materialism in my life. I want to honor God by putting Him first. Not giving to the church because of abuse you’ve seen only serves to cripple the Bride of Christ, rather than freeing it to fulfill her mission.
I know what the Bible says, but… tithing is an Old Testament principle and is under the law.
First off, the first mention of giving in the Bible is actually 400 years before the law. Secondly, if you actually believe that, then you should give WAY more than 10%. The “Law” of the Old Testament isn’t replaced, it’s added to in the New Testament by “Grace.” When Jesus came, he didn’t abolish the law, He added to it.
In the Old Testament, the law says “Thou shalt not kill.” In grace, Jesus says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
In the law, the Ten Commandments say “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Jesus comes along and says that if a man looks lustfully at a woman, he’s already committed adultery in his heart.
Law commands, but grace demands more. In Matthew 23, Jesus says that we should tithe, but not leave other good works undone.
I know what the Bible says, but… I can’t afford to tithe.
It’s funny to me how many people will say this, but drop $20/week on Starbucks. It’s never really an issue of money, but more an issue of priorities. I love how Jay said it on Sunday. If we wait until we can afford it, we’ll never do it.
It’s funny that when we have kids, we can never truly afford them. However, when we have them, the joy that comes from being a parent causes us to re-prioritize our lives and finances!
I know what the Bible says, but… I give to other things.
In Malachi 3, God says to bring the WHOLE tithe into the storehouse. It’s not that giving to other things is wrong – it’s not. The Bible calls giving above our tithes an offering. We’re actually commanded to tithe first, then to give beyond that. I talked about that here. I hope you’ll check it out!
I know what the Bible says, but… I give in other ways.
I’ve heard this from people for years. It’s usually people who feel like one of the excuses above apply to them, so they’ll say things like, “I give of my time.”
Giving of your time, energy, and self is great, but it’s not the point. Jesus says that where our treasure is, that’s where our heart is. God wants our hearts. Period.
I hope you’ll examine your life and find the places where God isn’t first. That you’ll cut out those excuses, and make every attempt to make Him first!