Many believers don’t understand the benefits of tithing, which help make it a very controversial subject in the church today. Should we tithe? Or shouldn’t we tithe? Many correctly point out that there is no requirement whatsoever for us to tithe in the New Covenant age of grace.
Unfortunately basing our decision purely on what is required is the wrong perspective when it comes to any of our giving, including the tithe. It reminds me of a conversation after a Christmas Eve service at church many years ago.
Another family invited my wife and me to join them for dinner at their home after the service. I politely declined because I was scheduled to work that night. At the time I worked in the maritime industry and ships are no respecters of nights, weekends, or holidays.
“You have to work on Christmas Eve?!” the wife asked. “How horrible!”
“No, no. You’ve got it wrong,” was my response. “I don’t have to work tonight. I get to work. I’ve been unemployed. This is better.”
It’s the same when it comes to tithing today because there is no requirement to tithe. We absolutely do not have to tithe today. However, we still do get to tithe if we so choose.
Wrong Motivation for Tithing
Besides, the Bible is very clear. When it comes to giving of our finances, we are explicitly instructed not to give under compulsion from a requirement to do so.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.— 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)
According to this scripture, we are not to give “of necessity.” The amount and way we give should be a deliberate decision of our heart instead of something that we do out of obligation. Therefore, if we are only willing to give when or what we believe we are required to give, we miss God.
Generosity is a natural outflow of a grateful heart made new in Christ. At best, giving only what one perceives is required, or out of necessity, indicates spiritual immaturity.
We can make a deliberate choice to tithe. But this verse indicates there cannot be any rule that says we must tithe in the New Covenant because such a rule would cause the Bible to contradict itself. This means we won’t experience any benefits from tithing when obligation is our motivation.
That said, it turns out there are many blessings associated with tithing in faith. These blessings are well worth considering when deciding whether or not to tithe today.
What is the Tithe?
Before we get to the ways the tithe blesses Christians today, let’s take a moment to review what the tithe is.
Simply put the word tithe means the tenth part. Another way to say it is that the tithe is ten percent.
So when we talk about tithing, we mean offering ten percent of our regular income to God. Really, we’re talking about giving that 10% into the Kingdom of God, typically to the local church.
That said, let’s look at some of the benefits of tithing which scripture reveals to us.
Tithing Puts God First in Our Finances
The first way the tithe blesses Christians is that it puts God first in our finances. When we make it a priority to consistently give God ten percent of everything He brings to us, that prioritizes the Kingdom of God in our lives.
Jesus told us that when we prioritize the Kingdom of God, then God will add everything we need in life back to us.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.— Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
That is a powerful promise, available for each of us to receive by faith. Giving finances into the things of God is one way we can seek after the Kingdom of God. This connects our hearts to the Kingdom in a very powerful way.
We know this is true because Jesus also told us that our heart follows our finances.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.— Matthew 6:21 (NKJV)
Some folks get that backwards. They long for the things of God, yet decline to give financially into the things of God because their hearts just aren’t in it. In truth, their hearts will become more passionate about the things of God after they choose to give financially into His Kingdom.
Therefore, tithing is one way we can connect our hearts to the things of God and begin seeking His Kingdom because it puts a portion of our treasure there. We can also give in many other ways over and above the tithe too, which have the same effect on our heart.
God also promises to honor those who honor Him,
— 1 Samuel 2:30 (NKJV)
Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
When we continually honor God with a tenth of our finances by tithing, He promises to honor us in return.
And the opposite is also true, according to that passage. God will only lightly esteem those who despise God, and the things of God. Basically, that is saying that God won’t pay attention to those who despise Him. It makes sense. When we despise God, we look down upon Him with disrespect, and regard Him as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.
In contrast, when we consistently give a tenth of our income to God and into His Kingdom, we make a faith-statement that we choose to honor Him, value Him as important, and view Him with respect. Doing so has real value because God promises He will likewise honor us in response. This is a real way tithing benefits us.
Tithing Moves Our Finances Into God’s Kingdom
As I explain in my Rejecting Mammon book, money is a creation of the world’s earth cursed mammon system, not something created in heaven. Even though the streets are paved with gold, there’s no currency in heaven.
Fortunately, we can move our finances into the Kingdom of God because of the law of firstfruits. Paul states that universal law here,
For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.— Romans 11:16 (NKJV)
Justice is one of God’s core attributes (Isaiah 30:18). Therefore He cannot arbitrarily bless people. The justice in His core makeup requires God to have the legal means to do so, despite how much He wants to bless everyone. Believing in Jesus brings us into the New Covenant, which puts us in the legal position to receive God’s blessings.
When we tithe, we dedicate the tenth portion of our finances to God, making it holy. This act moving a portion of our finances into the Kingdom of God also makes the rest of our finances holy too. It moves all of our finances into the Kingdom God, providing God the legal access to bless our finances directly.
Think about it. Our finances can either be in the world’s cursed mammon system, or in the Kingdom of God. Where do you think God has a better opportunity to bless them?
The obvious answer is within the Kingdom of God. Tithing brings all our finances into the Kingdom, where God has total legal authority to bless them.
This is one of the big benefits of tithing.
Tithing Builds Faithfulness Into Our Character
Faithfulness is an important characteristic for believers to possess. Paul said faithfulness is a requirement for leadership in the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:2). He instructed Timothy to find others who would faithfully teach others the truths Timothy learned from Paul (2 Timothy 2:2).
God promises to bless those who are faithful,
A faithful man will abound with blessings,— Proverbs 28:20 (NKJV)
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
Jesus also tells us that faithfulness is a requirement for promotion in the Kingdom of God,
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?— Luke 16:10-11 (NKJV)
When we are faithful in the little things, we demonstrate in a very practical way that we can be trusted with more significant responsibilities. Faithfulness is how we qualify for promotion in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus ties faithfulness directly to our finances. Not only does faithfulness in general qualify us for promotion, but faithfulness in our finances qualifies us to be given the true riches of the Kingdom of God.
This speaks directly to the benefits of tithing. Choosing to tithe consistently is a good way to demonstrate faithfulness in our finances and in our lives. Because the tithe is one way we give consistently over time, it is an excellent way to build the habit of faithfulness in our lives.
It is true that faithfulness is a fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22. We have a responsibility to discipline our flesh to release the fruit of the spirit. Tithing is one way we can release faithfulness.
And that faithfulness qualifies us for blessing, promotion, and to be given the true riches of the Kingdom.
Tithing Increases Our Generosity
Generosity is not a natural thing for humanity in its fallen state. If you have ever been around a toddler who is just beginning to learn what it means to share toys you know this to be true. Our flesh wants selfishly to hoard everything for itself. The world’s cursed mammon system trained us that way.
God’s heart is a generous heart. Perhaps the most famous scripture in all the Bible points to God’s generosity.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.— John 3:16 (WEB)
For God so loved… that He gave… Generous giving is part of God’s very nature. Here are some more examples.
- God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
- God makes His grace abound towards us (Ephesians 1:7-8)
- God makes all grace abound towards us (2 Corinthians 9:8)
- God supplies all of our needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19)
- God gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17)
- God gives wisdom liberally to those who ask (James 1:5)
- God gives good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11)
- God freely gives us all things (Romans 8:32)
Tithing benefits us in this because, when we are generous, we simply reflect our Father’s character and nature. In fact, the very reason God gives us resources is because He intends for us to be generous towards others with them.
You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.— 2 Corinthians 9:11 (HCSB)
When we tithe, we build generosity into our lives at a very core level because we make it a habit to always give no matter how much, or how little income we have. As we already mentioned, when we are faithful with little, we will also be faithful when we have much.
Tithing Funds Kingdom Work
The reality is Kingdom work requires money to accomplish. It is true that God has unlimited resources in His Kingdom. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
At the same time, God has no way to mint cash. There is no printing press producing bank notes in Heaven. Yet the work to expand God’s Kingdom still does require finances to accomplish.
This was true for Jesus:
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.— Luke 8:1-3 (NKJV)
Jesus needed financial support to accomplish His assignment here on earth. In fact, He had enough money flowing through His ministry that He assigned one of the core twelve disciples of His leadership team to manage those funds (John 12:6).
Paul also needed money to fund the work God assigned him to do in ministry,
Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.— Philippians 4:15-16 (NKJV)
Unfortunately for Paul, it appears only one church really had a revelation of this truth and supported his work consistently. Some of the churches Paul established were were so spiritually immature that Paul took on side work manufacturing tents to make ends meet.
When we choose to tithe, we actively engage in supporting Kingdom work. This blesses the ministers who, like Paul and Jesus, need money to pay for the things God assigns them to accomplish. The more we bless others, the more we harvest of blessings for ourselves in return.
Tithing Opens the Floodgates of Heaven
More benefits of tithing include a couple of big promises God makes to us when we tithe in faith. The first is that He will open the windows of heaven and pour out so much blessing that it will be a hassle to deal with.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,— Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the LORD of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Some translations use the term “floodgates of heaven” instead of windows of heaven. God uses this phrase to refer back to the flood in Noah’s day. So much water flowed out of heaven when God opened those windows/floodgates that the earth could not contain it (Genesis 7:11).
The phrase occurs one additional time in scripture. At the beginning of 2 Kings chapter seven, Elisha releases a prophecy that the famine Samaria is experiencing will be broken so totally and quickly that within a day food will become incredibly cheap.
One of the king’s officers scoffs and says that couldn’t happen even if God “opened the windows of heaven” (2 Kings 7:2). But then it happened exactly as Elisha said.
Therefore, with this promise God makes in Malachi, God says He will pour out blessing big enough to transform a nation’s economy in a day. That’s pretty big.
Some discount this promise because it was originally spoken to those under the Old Testament Law. Yet we know every promise of God is yes and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). This applies to all the promises of God, including those in the Old Testament.
Tithing Authorizes God to Rebuke the Devourer for Us
This is perhaps the biggest blessing of all. God promises to rebuke the devourer for our sakes when we tithe in faith.
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,— Malachi 3:11 (NKJV)
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the LORD of hosts;
In my opinion, this is the single biggest benefits of tithing.
Also, this promise is perhaps the biggest reason why the enemy stirs up so much controversy in the church where the tithe is concerned. Every believer the enemy convinces not to tithe is one more place he can access the funds the enemy needs to finance all the ungodly mess he does in our world.
The enemy has done such a good job sowing confusion in the Body of Christ where the tithe is concerned that less than 1% of all Christians in America tithe today. (If you count those who attend church regularly, the percentage only goes up to 5% — source).
That means the enemy still has access to the finances of at least 99% of all Christians. That doesn’t even count the finances of the unbelievers, which he also lays claim to.
The way the enemy attacks our finances today is through unexpected bills. It might come in the form of a car repair, unexpected doctor bill, a tax bill, a home repair, or anything else unexpected and outside of our normal operating budget.
When we tithe, we can simply ask God to keep this promise of His and watch Him show up to deal with that unexpected bill. Lisa and I have done this many times and seen God repeatedly act supernaturally on our behalf. I share some personal examples of what this looked like in our lives in chapter five of my Rejecting Mammon book.
Will You Enjoy the Benefits of Tithing?
As you can see, there are many blessings available to us when we choose to tithe in faith.
Sadly, it’s true that you can miss out on these blessings a couple of different ways. Obviously, if you choose not to tithe at all, then you disqualify yourself from these blessings.
You can also miss out out on these blessings like Lisa and I did for a number of years when we tithed without seeing much in the way of these blessings in our lives. In our case, we didn’t apply any faith to our tithing.
Instead, we gave our tithe mostly out of obligation. We were in churches that taught that if we didn’t tithe then God would take the money from us some other way. I literally remember hearing a pastor say from the pulpit that if we didn’t tithe then God would take the money from us in doctor bills or car repairs.
Now I realize that’s not true. Jesus took the curse for us (Galatians 3:13), regardless of whether we tithe. Instead, we miss out on God’s blessing because we are not in a position where God can legally bless us. It’s not God who comes at our finances. It’s the enemy who comes to steal from us and destroy us financially.
Because Lisa and I didn’t understand about releasing our faith to receive God’s promise, we basically just coped with the devourer as best we could on our own.
However, when we tithe in faith, we can then receive the promise in Malachi. God’s grace provides the solution when the enemy comes at our finances. We can receive that promise by faith when we tithe, along with all the other blessings that get included with the package.
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy all those blessings?