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The Error in Tithe

At Revive we recently talked about stewardship. Stewardship is what you do with God’s stuff. A big question that gets brought up here is: what do we do with tithe?

Let’s first define the word tithe: tenth. This literally just means a tenth of your annual income. Tithing is talked about only a handful of times in the New Testament. Is there a reason? Yes, tithing does not jive with first generation Christians and it shouldn’t jive with us now. The error in tithing is that I only have to give Jesus a tenth of my money and a seventh of my week. Everything else I own is mine after that. The error is simple; we believe that everything is ours are we give to God whatever we think will buy us into heaven. There is a simple story in the gospel where Jesus addresses this issue. It is called the Rich, Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-25). (If you haven’t read it, copy the reference there read it). In this story we have a man asking Jesus essential how much it cost to get to heaven. Jesus’ response: Everything! The guy wanted a figure. He saw all the poor people following Jesus and thought he had this in the taken care of. Jesus takes all of this tithing from us and says it’s not good enough.

He says,

I want all of you!

This is a lot to swallow. If you don’t think so, re-read Matthew 19:16-25 until it feels hard to swallow. Is it fair that Jesus requires all of us? He gave all of Himself on the cross. You have a debt of sin that you owed to the Father and Jesus paid for all with His sacrifice on the cross. Once you have started to grasp that, then you can start to grasp why Jesus demands all of us, why a tenth is not good enough. Jesus is not asking for you to begrudgingly give a little of money. If you are saved from the wrath of God, then you are full of grace. You are a fountain of grace and if it is not pouring out of every pore in your body, then I would like you to ask yourself this question: Am I a Christian? Christians are saved by grace, meaning you do nothing to get it, nothing to earn it, nothing to deserve it.  A Christian’s response is not “God, what to give to all these things?” its “God, what can I give to all of these things? God bless me with more so that I can serve more!” That is the response of a Christian.

Tithing is a misconception. God demands and rightly deserves every second you have been given on this earth. My prayer for you is that you would reflect on this. Consider what in your life have you been holding back from God and give it to Him. God is not looking for your begrudging submission. He is not that kind of God. He poured grace into  you, now go and pour grace into others.

By: Michael Esch


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One Comment on “The Error in Tithe”

  1. dledet August 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Enjoyed the read, thanks.

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