Not everybody tithes, and here are, what I think, the top four reasons that people do not tithe.
1. I do not believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit thingy.
If you are reading this post, then probably something is drawing your interest to God that leads you to this post in the first place. Maybe you know some Christians or are associated with them in some ways directly or indirectly.
In a few places in the Bible, many who do not believe in God did some favour to God’s people directly and indirectly. Some may speculate that those were considered converts or proselytes, but, the truth is, we do not truly know what was in their hearts. What we know is that God saw what was in their hearts and God looked upon them favourably. There are instances in the Old Testament and the New Testament where God blesses the non-believers who give to God or God’s people.
In Luke 7:1-10, a Roman Centurion, whom we cannot be 100% certain whether he was a believer or not, was a generous giver to the synagogue. When the Centurion asked for healing for someone in his household, the synagogue’s congregation pleaded on his behalf to Jesus. “When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.’ And Jesus went with them…”
This is not tit for tat. You cannot buy salvation or his blessings (continue reading below), but even if you do not believe, it does not mean God does not exist. He exists and he loves you.
So although you do not believe yet, give anyway to a worthwhile Christian cause.
2. I do not make enough money.
I understand. I know life is tough. But it does not mean you are without any ability to give back to God. Here are some steps to consider.
First, learn how to budget and live by it. We need to have some level of control over our personal finances (no matter how little or how much we make) and it is certainly very challenging to tithe if we do not make a lot and we have no control. There are number of sources on the internet and the first thing that came to my mind is Crown Ministries. Maybe people can recommend other Christian sources that have proven helpful to them in the comments section.
Second, align our expectations to what we truly need. Too often we are fooled by the world into believing that we “need” things that we actually do not truly need. Check out another post on “riches and desires for other things” to assess what we truly need.
It is difficult to tithe, if we are not focused on Jesus. In Matthew 14:29-30 (CEV), we read, “Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward [Jesus]. But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking.” There will be many distractions along the way, but with God’s grace, we will be able to abide by our budget so we can tithe.
And although we earn little which leads to our tithe being little, let us not worry about it.
Jesus cares about our heart more than our money.
“Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’” -Mark 12:41-44
So although we do not make a lot of money, let us learn to budget and live for Jesus.
3. I make too much money.
Some blessed souls may have made a good income before they gave their lives to Jesus, so it might be difficult to digest the amount of a tithe to be given, based on an already high income. From zero to a million dollar tithe is a big shock, even if you still have millions left to spend. (Okay, even if we are not talking millions, if we have never tithed, it can be overwhelming.) It feels irrational to give away so much.
And yet, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Lk. 12:48). If those who earn little can tithe, surely those who earn much can tithe also. God wants us to put him first in our lives.
“Financial independence” is a worthy goal, but independence from God is not.
If we become so wealthy that we trust in the security of our wealth instead of the grace of God, then we become like the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God.”
Although you make so much money that a tithe looks too much, remember that everything we have comes from God in the first place—the tithe is rightly his.
4. God does not need my money.
It is correct that God does not need our money. “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). We are like a speck of dust in this vast universe that he created. God is so rich that he does not need, nor expect, his creatures to repay him with any thing nor any deed.
Our giving to him does not make him wealthier, and our not giving does not make him poorer.
We do not give because he needs it. We give because he instructed us to give. “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mk. 12:17)
So although God does not need it, he asked us to obey his command to tithe. So let us tithe.
The Reason for Tithing
God cannot be swayed nor influenced by our offerings nor our deeds. How much we give matters more to us, than to him. Remember—God does not need our money!
If we have all the money in the world to solve every problem, would we think that we still need God? Do we tithe to the point that we are fully conscious of our dependence on God for our continued sustenance? Are we walking toward Jesus and fixing our eyes on him and him only?
Money is a tangible expression of tithing, but the real reason for tithing is to increase OUR faith.
Our obedience to tithe is faith in action. And this is the reason we should tithe.