The Money Series: Tithes And Offerings

the Money Series Tithes and Offerings

We have gone through a little bit of background and my story, defining what money is, why making a budget is important, and now let’s move on to tithes and offerings.

The moment most people see or hear the word tithe, they immediately think of the church and corruption. More than likely, thanks to popular news articles and/or movies or tv shows, the church has received a pretty bad reputation when it comes to money. Now at the same time, we are sinful and still in a sinful world and I know we are all capable of making mistakes so I’m not making any excuses for churches that have made mistakes when it comes to financial management.

If there’s ever been corruption, it should be addressed and justice should prevail, but what doesn’t get talked about a lot is how tithing is still for today and how many churches and people get it right when it comes to finances. There are millions of examples you’ll never hear about on the news and they won’t make a movie about it.

What Is The Tithe And Is It Still For Today?

The word tithe means a tenth. It represents a minimum, not a maximum of giving.

We, as followers of Jesus, are called to tithe and be generous, especially since Jesus was so generous to us.

What most people think is that “tithing” is an Old Testament principle and it’s not for us anymore. However, tithing can be found in 3 primary areas of scripture:

  • Abram gave a tenth in Genesis 14.
  • Malachi 3:10 talks about how God validates the tithe and says to test Him in giving and that we’ll never “out give” God.
  • Jesus in Matthew 23:23 corrects the Pharisees for how they were tithing and redirects them for what they should do with the tithe instead. By doing this, we can see it’s still clearly a New Testament principle, Jesus validates it, and makes sure the heart of generosity is present when tithing, not selfish motivations.

As Jesus demonstrated grace towards us, He always raised the bar from the law. Grace raises the bar in everything. (Jesus in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 compares hatred to murder, lusting to adultery, etc.) This means when it comes to tithing, our goal shouldn’t just be to “hit the tenth and be done,” but rather use the tenth as a starting point and increase from there.

The tithe goes to the local church. As the church accomplishes what God calls the body to accomplish, money towards those efforts come from somewhere, and it comes from the tithe. And just as a reminder, Christians are called to be a part of a local body. All of us have roles to play and church community is a command, not just a suggestion for us. We are called to be in community with others, not live our lives in isolation.

Keep this in mind, this isn’t giving God His money, this is ALL already God’s money. This is our reminder of whose money it is.

The point of giving is more about generosity and stewardship than just a “tithe.” Jesus is our example of being generous towards us and as we follow Him, we are to be generous towards others. The only cure for greed and selfishness (both of which are thinking what we have is ours) is to give it away and be reminded of whose it really is. This means we need to be regular givers and it needs to be proactively part of our plan, not just when we have some money leftover.

So Then, What Is An Offering Or “Other” Giving?

The tithe is a responsibility for the follower of Jesus towards the local church and offerings and other giving are opportunities to bless others and to continue to be generous. We always want to seek out additional ways to be generous financially with others.

How Do I Setup Tithing & Offerings/Other Giving In My Budget?

As you make your budget, if the budget isn’t balancing to $0, reduce the tithe line last, and not before working out your other category lines. This should be your first line and top priority in your budget.

Also, separate tithing and offerings/other giving in your budget vs having it all lumped together. That will help you stay on track. Offerings/Other Giving does not have to be your local church, that’s for the tithe, but it can be. If the Holy Spirit says give offering money to the church then you need to do that. And at the same time, God may lead you to designate offerings/other giving towards organizations like Compassion, International Justice Mission, The Salvation Army, Individuals, Missionaries, etc.

Keep giving decisions as well as all budget decisions a prayerful exercise at all times.

What We Do

We made tithing a priority from the beginning and over time we’ve added additional “giving” lines such as our Compassion line (we sponsor some children through that organization) as well as a general “giving to others” line. We want generosity to mark who we are as followers of Jesus and to reflect that financially.

That being said, I simply don’t trust myself. I don’t trust myself to grow in generosity on my own and believe that left to my own doing, I’d become selfish and inward focused and would give less and less over time and want to spend money towards ourselves. So we built in a tithe percentage increase year over year and we tithe on every incoming dollar. I’m not saying everyone must do this or anything like that, but that was worked out really well for us.

Here’s why…I didn’t want to get lost in the “do I tithe on the gross or net” or “do I tithe when someone gives me a gift” or “do I tithe when I get a bonus or a tax return, etc.” If I’m more worried about those specifics of tithing, I’m missing the point. Does God show His grace to me on conditions or is His forgiveness different in various situations? No. So then why should I nickel and dime God when it comes to tithing? I also figured we won’t ever out give God, and it will never hurt us to give more. It’s all God’s money at the end of the day so if He puts an additional $1 in our bank account, we are tithing off of that. Plus, regardless of our income, we increase our percentage each year because it helps us increase our generosity and reminds us to keep our eyes on Jesus.

Call To Action

If you haven’t started giving yet, why not? What is stopping you from beginning to take steps towards generosity. Pick a church, ministry, nonprofit organization, etc. and start giving today. You’ll start to notice a huge difference in your mindset and stewardship about money.

The Money Series

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Myra L. Braxton
Myra L. Braxton
11 months ago

Hi Mike! Thank you for this awesome article! I learned the principles of stewardship before the LORD at a very young age, from my parents, sisters, Church Pastors and families! I also enjoy that my current Pastor continues to exemplify the tithe/offering management of I AM,to me! This is why I was overjoyed in reading this article! There is always room for a refresher course! You just re-taught me to increase my tithes more each year, or however I want to increase my giving to YAHWEH! I just started doing increase in the last 3 years with tithes/offerings! I am… Read more »

1 year ago

Hi Mike, thanks for sharing. For 40 years I have tithe. Within the last year my beliefs and conviction by the Holy Spirit has changed. We are no longer bounded by the Law which is Old Testament. We are under Grace/Free will giving. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Yes we are encourage to be a cheerful giver and to support the advancement of the Gospel. Our… Read more »

Ramon Cruz
Ramon Cruz
1 year ago

I don’t see any direct quotes here.
Maybe you should let the Bible speak for itself.

Reply to  Ramon Cruz
1 year ago

I agree Ramon. Matthew 23:23 does not tell us to tithe. Tithing is an Old Testament law. We are no longer under the law but grace. Jesus came and fulfilled the law by dying on the cross. We should give because we want to not out of obligation or begrudgingly. I feel that pastors still teach tithing to generate consistent income for the church. Churches have grew into large businesses that requires a lot of capital to maintain its existence. I don’t like large churches nor do I like mega churches. Churches should be small and pastors should work and… Read more »

Norman Everhart Sr
Norman Everhart Sr
2 years ago

Great article on Tithing!! This certainly helps Theresa and I better understand what Tithing is. We just reached our goal of Tithing at 10%. But now reading your article we better understand what Tithing really is. It’s sharing our financial resources with our church and others – starting at 10% of our finances.

It doesn’t end at just 10% – but also includes sharing our financial successes when we can give more – when we are blessed with extra income.

Thank you and God Bless You!!

3 years ago

Hi Mike,
Great Blog on Tithing.

Rob Larson
Rob Larson
4 years ago

Tithing is definitely biblical. I think what the world sees is televangelists bilking the people for more cash. The “sow your seed” doctrine. The idea is that if I give more I will get more. I don’t agree with that. We give not to be blest, but rather to bless others. I appreciate you insights on this. Reading about money is not easy for me personally because I need to be a better steward of my money.

Bernadette Uveno
Bernadette Uveno
Reply to  Mike Mobley
5 months ago

As New Testament believers, we are not under the Mosaic Law, nor are we governed by the giving of tithes or offerings. As Christians we are not under any legalistic requirement but are governed by a higher principle – Grace. Scripture does not require us to give a tithe, but teaches that we should give to the Lord willingly, liberally, and cheerfully. Our offerings to Him should be out of love for all He is, and all He has for us. Furthermore, for me, giving freely, generously, and cheerfully to the Lord, is not for material wealth or financial gain… Read more »



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Mike Mobley

My prayer is that through Before The Cross whether or not you’re a follower of Christ, that you can ask questions, seek and obtain truth from the Bible, and explore various resources to help you each day.


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