What exactly is tithing and should I do it?

3 min read

Anthony O'neal
What exactly is tithing and should I do it?

In discussions about personal finance and religious practices, the concept of tithing often emerges. Tithing has deep roots in various religious traditions, but its relevance and application in modern society can be a subject of debate and confusion. So, let's talk about the meaning of tithing, its historical context, its significance in different faiths, and whether it holds relevance for individuals today.

What is tithing?

Tithing, simply put, is the act of giving a portion of your income, usually about one-tenth (10%), to your local church or religious organization. It's all about being a cheerful giver and showing your love for God by supporting the work of your church through tithes and offerings.

Historical context

Now, tithing has been around since the days of the Old Testament, where it was laid out in the Mosaic Law. Back then, folks would give a tenth of their crops, livestock, or other income to the priests as a way of expressing gratitude to God and providing financial support for the religious community.

But, we're not living in biblical times anymore, right? So, does tithing still matter in today's world? Absolutely! While we may not be handing over sacks of grain or jars of olive oil, the principle of tithing remains as relevant as ever.

In the Christian faith, tithing is seen as a way to honor God with our finances and live generously, just as Jesus taught in the New Testament. It's about recognizing that everything we have comes from God and trusting Him to provide for our basic needs.

Offering versus Tithe

When talking about Tithe, it is referring to a specific amount that is given, 10% of your income, and an offering is anything additional that you give on top of that. Offerings can be things other than money such as donating your time to help with projects or events held at the church. 

So, both can be a huge part of your financial planning and religious practice. Once you’ve given that initial 10% and covered all your other financial needs, you can take any extra money and give more to the church, a charity, a friend, or simply giving your time. 

More of the modern aspect of tithes is that there are often way of digital giving, whether it be online or via an app, some even have the ability to set up recurring donations on a monthly basis.

Why is Tithe important?

I get it. Money can be tight, and the idea of giving away a chunk of your income might seem daunting. But here's the thing – when you trust God with your finances and give generously, He promises to bless you in return. 

As the Bible says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse... and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it" (Malachi 3:12).

Plus, in today's digital age, giving tithes has never been easier. With online giving platforms, you can support your church with just a few clicks, whether it's a one-time donation or a recurring gift.

And here's another cool thing about tithing – it's not just about money. Sure, financial resources are important, but so are your time and talents. Whether you're volunteering at your church, helping out in your community, or simply lending a helping hand to those in need, every act of generosity counts.

Questions about Tithes and offerings

If you're new to tithes and offerings and you're not sure how the tithing system works, or how to pay tithes, let me cover a few of the common questions around the topic.

What if I don't go to church?

Even if you don't go to church, a tithe simply implies giving a percentage of one's income as a generous gift to a local church or religious organization and is just one of many good deeds you can incorporate into your life to express gratitude.

Should I increase my tithe once I have more money?

Generally speaking, if you are doing well financially and are able to give more, it's a great idea. Typically many of those that already tithe give above the 10% already. Being a generous person means looking for ways to give regardless of what you have - especially regarding material possessions. The idea of the word tithe is to provide part of your "wealth" to those that need it, so when you are making more money, and have more wealth, it's good practice to also increase the amount you're giving as a tithe.

What if I'm trying to pay off debt, should I still tithe?

It is completely possible to tithe even if you're paying off debt. The only exception is if you are not able to cover your basic necessities with the income you have - but even then there can be adjustments made to your other living expenses that could still allow you to contribute to tithes.

You can cut back on spending, budget for tithes, and make lifestyle changes that allow you to cover your living expenses and still have at least 10% left over to donate. That being said, offerings are different. Because offerings are things above and beyond the 10%, you should hold off on these until you are debt free and have stable finances.

Are tithes meant to be given from income before or after taxes?

I talked earlier about how the purpose is giving, whether you give off your take-home pay or after your income is taxes is completely personal preference. Some will give the 10% off their pre-tax income and others will give the 10% off their taxed income, it doesn't matter.

Paying tithes is meant to be a way to love god, honor god's law, and show you have trust that he will take care of your needs. Whether that comes out of your taxable income or not is your decision.

Can I deduct my tithe on taxes?

There is nothing against deducting your tithe. Again, the entire purpose is giving, but if taking a tax deduction on your donation improves your finances in other aspects or gives you a better way to manage them, there is nothing wrong with that.

I know the concept might feel selfish, but there is nothing preventing you from taking a tax deduction - the church appreciates your donation.

Do I need to tithe from my tax refunds?

So, technically your tax refund is from money you've already tithed. While you can donate again from your refunds, and that donation would be more than welcome, it's up to you.

Should I Tithe?

Well, that's ultimately up to you. But if you ask me, tithing is not just about fulfilling a religious obligation or paying a church tax. It's about living out your faith in a tangible way, trusting God with your finances, and making a difference in the world around you.

In the end, tithing isn't about how much money you give or whether you can afford it. It's about having a heart of gratitude and expressing your love for God through your generosity. As the saying goes, "You can't outgive God." So why not take a step of faith today and see how He can bless you beyond measure?

Let's Recap

Tithing may have its roots in ancient times, but its principles are timeless. Even though we're not living in biblical times, the act of giving – whether it's your first fruits, your financial resources, or your time – is a firm foundation for a life lived in abundance. So go ahead, live generously, trust God with your finances, and watch as He opens the floodgates of heaven in your life.

Both the New Testament and Old Testament indicate that tithing is a way to show your generosity for God and in the present world that's 10% of your income and any other offering you want to give. Budget your tithes into your financial plan and if you're new to tithing, try giving in the same way you'd give to a friend in need.

The important takeaway with tithe is that it's the purpose of being generous, giving, and trusting god to meet your needs by showing your respect and support. It's definitely has as much to do with the heart as it does with money.

Full name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

like what you’ve just read?

Make sure to share it with your tribe!

like what you’ve just read?

Make sure to share it with your tribe!