In Hebrew, a tithe means ‘one-tenth part of something’—ie. from one’s annual produce or earnings. Tithing is something God asks us to do not because He needs our money but because He wants our hearts. It is an opportunity to trust Him and remember that He is our ultimate provider.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.Proverbs 3:9-10
So what happens when we tithe?
1. We are transformed.
Matthew 6:21 tells us “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Tithing allow us to train our hearts—it is an act of the will, not a response to a feeling or emotion. When we commit to tithing, God allows us to fully experience the connection between our obedience and His blessing. Then, the joy that comes from being obedient motivates us to continue. If you’re not tithing yet or only make small offerings to your church, pray to God for guidance.
2. We get to partner with God in ministry.
As mentioned, God does not need our money—He owns everything and can do anything. When we tithe, we are simply giving back to God a portion of what is already His.
In Psalm 50:7, 9–12, God reminds us, “I am God, your God… I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.” When God commands us to bring the tithe to our church, He is engaging us in His work on Earth.
3. Lastly, we demonstrate obedience, and God always blesses obedience.
God wants our obedience more than our loving words. In John 14:15, Jesus said “If you love me, keep my commands”. Obeying God’s commands is how we show God that we love Him. When we’re obedient with what we have, we show God that we love Him and that He can trust us with more.