What Does the Bible Say about Tithing
Tithing is a confusing and touchy subject for most Christians. It makes sense it would be as it involves something very important to most people. It is not what you think, though.
Money itself is not the struggle involved in tithing for many. It is just dyed paper or shaped metal. What the currency represents for you is the real issue. That is most often control and security. The more money you have the more it feels like you are the one in charge. The wealthier you feel the more established you seem. You don’t know you need God as much when you can buy anything you want, right?
There are few limitations if you have enough money. It seems like you are a master of all things before you. Someone who has billions is said to have more money than whom? Yet, even a multi-billionaire is not anywhere close to God in power and stature. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord…now or later when it is too late.
It is for this reason God commands you to give. God could fund His church with money that falls from the sky. He could send angels with rolls of quarters. Instead, He makes the church reliant on the church – you and I. Giving is a daily or weekly confession that Jesus is indeed Lord. It is a profession of faith that all things belong to Him. It is a reliance on Him for your future.
Yes, you also give of time, talents, and effort. Jesus does not say He just wants a percentage of your life. He says “Render to God what is God’s.” That means you. All of you. For more on this idea, read Do You Want a Better New Year in Christ?
Your whole life belongs to Him and should be poured out as a living sacrifice to Him. For more on this, read What does it Mean to be a Living Sacrifice?
But is also includes monetary giving. You are to give of what already belongs to God according to how God directs in joyful submission to God.
Giving is not about a percentage. There are no specific amounts or percentages set out in the New Testament for you to follow. The term tithing means a tenth but this is a term from before Jesus fulfilled the Law so it is not your guidepost. I know many will beat you over the head with the Malachi verses below and accuse you of stealing from God, but guess what? That is not what Jesus asks of you. It is legalism and legalism kills. For more, read Legalism Kills
Giving is just a statement to God you trust Him with everything. Your money, your control, your future, and your whole life.
Do you render to Caesar what is His?
So what does the Bible say about Tithing? Let’s see!
1) Haggai 2:8
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.
2) Psalm 24:1
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
God made everything in existence. He is the owner of all of the wealth there ever was or will be. Yet, He blesses us with temporary use of things for a time. Every gift is from Him. Struggling with the idea of giving what belongs to you to God misses the point. Your assets are just on temporary loan to you from Him.
3) John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
This is our example of giving. God gave you what is most valuable to Him simply because He loves you. There was no duty, obligation, or guilt involved.
4) 1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Paul addresses the danger of money. Jesus adds you can only serve 1 master – God or money are the choices. You will love one and hate the other. Who do you love?
5) 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
KEY VERSE: The Bible specifically says give according to how you have decided your heart…not 10, 20, 30 or 50%. It may be much more than 10%. The point is it must be according to how God leads and with your heart. This is New Testament giving.
This also does not mean the prosperity teacher are correct. It does mean you have to trust God for you to reap (grow) in your Christian life.
6) Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
Freely you receive, freely give! So simple.
7) Matthew 6:21
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
8) 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
9) 1 Corinthians 13:3
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
KEY VERSE: If you are not giving out of love for Jesus and people, you might as well save it. It is worthless. Giving out of guilt, shame, to gain favor, to gain membership or any other reason than out of love for Jesus is not the giving He asks for.
10) Mark 12:41-44
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
It is not the amount either – big or little. The heart is what matters. You can have a wing of a church named after you and still have it be worthless.
11) Luke 18:10-14
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
12) Matthew 23:23
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
13) Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Trust in God is a huge part of the equation.
14) 1 Timothy 5:17-18
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
15) Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
16) Deuteronomy 8:17-18
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
17) Malachi 3:9-10
You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
KEY VERSE: These verse are often abused by those who want you to give under compulsion and overcome your reluctance. But where are they written and who are they addressed to:
They are in the Old Testament addressed to the Jewish people under the Law.
You are not under the Law and should give according to God’s direction.
This may mean much more than 10%. It may mean less. That is up to God.
You should give, but it is God’s plan to follow.
18) Genesis 4:1-26
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.
Giving to God was around from the beginning. Giving with a bad attitude was as well. God doesn’t like that.
19) Proverbs 28:27
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
20) 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
21) Mark 7:9-13
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
22) 2 Chronicles 31:4-5
And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the Lord. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
23) Acts 4:34-35
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
24) Proverbs 3:9-10
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
25) Psalm 4:5
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
26) Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
27) Matthew 6:1-4
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
28) Luke 16:10
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
29) Genesis 28:20-22
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”
30) Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
31) Deuteronomy 14:22
“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year.
32) Leviticus 27:30-34
“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.” These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.
33) Deuteronomy 16:17
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
34) Numbers 18:21
“To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting,
35) Deuteronomy 14:22-29
“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. …
36) Numbers 18:26
“Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.
37) Job 41:11
Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
38) Hebrews 7
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham.
39) Acts 11:27-29
Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.