The word tithe is mentioned throughout the Bible in multiple places. It goes back all the way to the first book – Genesis. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” Genesis 14:18-20
This act is seen again later in Genesis 28:22 “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
The Bible mentions the act of tithing in many other places. The literal meaning of the word is to give a tenth of your annual produce or earnings to God. I think in some instances of the Bible where tithing is mentioned, the people didn’t really have money to give so they gave what they had – produce and livestock.
Basically, tithing is a form of sacrifice. Sacrifice is seen even earlier in the Bible in the Cain and Abel story. That’s a story for another day, but what we can gather from it is that God takes sacrificing seriously. He sent his Son Jesus to die for the world as the ultimate sacrifice for sin for instance.
Cool stories, but why should I care about tithing?
To start with, I tithe because I believe that the Bible is true. That it is real, that God does exist, and he speaks his word to us through the Bible. I know it is becoming less popular as time goes on, but I still believe. So, since I take the Bible for what it says, I try to follow its teachings to the best of my abilities.
Since I believe the Bible, I believe what it says about God creating the universe. I believe that everything on earth belongs to God, including money. So, since everything I own was created by God, I feel it’s only right to be thankful to him and give back 10% of the money he blesses me with to the church. I give a minimum of 10% because that’s what the word tithe means. Sometimes, I give more if something comes up that I want to give to.
The reason I give to the church is because that’s where I believe God wants me to give. That’s where the work of God is supposed to take place and I believe the church I give to is using the money for God’s work.
The reason I believe that we should give money is because it's the currency we use in modern times. We don’t need to give of our crops and livestock because most of us don’t have these things. What we do have is money.
Tithing develops a giving heart
Studies have shown that giving brings us a more permanent sense of happiness than receiving does. I’m not saying you should tithe so that you can feel happy about giving, but that could be a side effect from it. I personally tithe because it is one of the many things I can do for God. I don’t think God ever actually commands anyone to tithe in the Bible. He’d rather you do it of your own will. When you give because you truly care and do it in a selfless manner, happiness will come anyways. True tithing helps us keep God first in our lives.
I know that you’re probably thinking I’m crazy right now for telling you to give your money away when the point of this blog is to help you become wealthier. I actually hope you’re thinking that (unless you already tithe) because it shows you have some common sense.
Let’s think about it on a deeper level though.
- Generous people are more likable and will be given more opportunities which could result in more wealth.
- Becoming wealthy just to have a bunch of money isn’t the goal here. Gaining freedom to live the life you want is.
- Giving back makes the world a better place and I think we can agree that’s what we want.
- I want to become financially independent so that I can give more time to the things that mean the most in life.
Tithing helps you stay on top of your finances
When you automatically cut 10% off what you make, you stay on top of things better. Especially if you’re living on a below-average income like me. Having to factor 10% out of every dollar I make means I’ve got to keep track of everything coming in and make sure I plan accordingly.
Sure, you can stay on top of your money without giving 10% of it away but that’s beside the point of this post. I’ve already made my mind up that I’m going to tithe and because I tithe, I have to keep better track of my income.
There’s something profound about sacrifice
Whether it be cutting back on calories to lose weight, giving up free time to work on a project, or any number of other ways we sacrifice. There’s something deep and honorable about sacrificing things in the present to make a better future for ourselves. It takes a lot of willpower to be able to deny yourself something so that you can benefit from it later down the road.
Tithing is no exception to this. By giving to God, you’re sacrificing some money in the present so that God’s work can be done, and you can have a better relationship with him. I think we all want a better relationship with God if we’re believers.
The amount of I things I could get into on this topic are really too vast for me to cover in a post like this. I just wanted to get my surface thoughts out there on the biggest reasons for why I tithe. In case you’re wondering if I tithe before tax or after tax, I tithe after tax and then tithe 10% of any money I get back on my tax refund.
Even if you don’t believe, you can still find good causes that aren’t associated with church to give to. Being a generous person isn’t going to hurt you or your money. I’m quite sure of that.
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.