Among the least favorite subjects for many Christians today is the subject of tithing. I think I know why ... less than 20% of Christians are tithers. That means that 80% of all Christians are merely tipping God occasionally. No wonder most people tune out when the subject is discussed.
I've done a lot of thinking and praying about this problem because economics is my specialty, both in business and as a hobby. My conclusion is that some Christians will never tithe because their level of faith is too low and they don't understand the principles of stewardship. Others may have tried tithing for a while, but never experienced a financial blessing, and therefore quit. If you are in either category I only ask that you hear me out, and remain open to a financial breakthrough today.
The tithe is not something that Christians "give" to God. The tithe is PAYED, sort of like paying your taxes. You don't give the IRS your taxes each year, you PAY them ... or else. But, in the kingdom of God we are never coerced to do anything, including supporting our local church. However, we are admonished in both the Old and the New Testaments that a tithe belongs to God, and if we keep it we are robbing His kingdom of the resources to get the job done. (I wonder how fast we could complete the Great Commission if everyone tithed?)
Dr. John Avanzini has helped many of us to understand that, according to Mal. 3:8-10, when we tithe we release God to OPEN the windows of heaven. When we tithe, we are actually preparing the pathway to uncontainable blessing! In the original language, Mal. 3:10 does not promise that we will receive an uncontainable blessing when we tithe, but rather only when we give our offerings in addition to the tithe. This would explain why there are so many frustrated Christians who have begun tithing, not received a financial blessing... and then quit. We have misunderstood the purpose of tithing -- obedience.
When we tithe, two things happen: 1) Provision (meat) goes into the House of God, and 2) The windows of heaven are opened over our life. According to Luke 6:38, we can effect the measure of blessing that God pours out to us by the measure that we freely give offerings. I have personally chosen to give with a large shovel. Some are giving by the cup, others by the teaspoon. It's your choice. We can move God's hand of blessing based on our level of faith to give. The potential for greater blessing exists when we tithe and give generous offerings unto the LORD. This is good news indeed!
Let's all begin tithing for the sake of the gospel, as well as giving generous offerings. Remember: God is not mocked. Whatever we sow, we will reap!