If you are like me and were raised in the church, then you’ve probably been beat over the head about tithing from everybody from your parents to your pastor. If not, then I’m sure you’ve heard more than your fair share of tithing sermons, lessons, and seminars (and you can probably recite Malachi 3:10 during REM sleep).

About five or six years ago, I heard the best sermon I’ve ever heard about tithing from Pastor Ralph Douglas West of The Church Without Walls. This was a sermon where he never even mentioned an amount. Never mentioned money. Yes, a sermon on tithing that never mentioned money. It was refreshing, enlightening, correcting, and loving. Again, the best sermon I’ve heard about tithing.

Fast forward to January 2015. Pastor West has been doing a series on giving, and this time, tithing wasn’t even the focus.

And again, it was the best sermons I’ve ever heard on giving.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-10

Pastor West mentioned that Paul never mentioned an amount, but rather, the question is, “Are you willing?”

In the old testament, tithing was a specified amount and it was the law.  We are no longer under the same law with the New Covenant (go argue with someone else, it’s the truth). In fact, when Christ mentions tithing in the New Testament, he does so by condemning those who are tithing to the penny, but aren’t keeping up with MORE IMPORTANT aspects of the faith (mercy, etc).

These next few thoughts are for the financial unstable and tithing-struggling Christian. If you’ve always found it easy to tithe and haven’t ever skipped a beat, then you more than likely won’t understand this. Basically, the Super Saint probably won’t like it.

You’ve been warned.

I think, at times, when we get into bad financial situations where we “can’t” tithe, it discourages us from giving anything. It makes us feel some sort of shame and guilt, and thinking God isn’t pleased.

Well, let me share this with you. God is pleased with a cheerful giver. PERIOD. Do not let your financial situation keep you from being a cheerful giver. Give what you can, cheerfully (see verse 7 above).

I put “can’t” because I know that sometimes our bad financial situations are our own doing. And guess what? That is life. Life happens. Setbacks happen. Plans change. We make unwise financial decisions, and then get in a bind. Sometimes it may seem as if we’re diggin gourselves out of a never-ending hole. <—- Keep on giving through alladat even if *gasp* it’s not your tithe (yes, I said it). If you find yourself writing out (or inputting) that tithe amount with a hint of sorrow, discouragement, fear, etc? That IS NOT pleasing to God. But if you have it set on your heart to fill out that envelope for $20 and you are thanking the Lord that he made it available to you? Guess what? God is pleased.

Please hear this:


That is not the message here at all. I don’t believe there is anything “wrong” with tithing. What I AM saying, however, is (1) if you’re tithing out of obligation and aren’t cheerfully giving, then that’s not pleasing God, and (2) the message that tithing is how you are spiritually (!!!!) blessed is flawed, at the very least.

Look at verse 6 above. We have been told to be GENEROUS in our giving. However, sometimes, “generous” for some could mean 10-20% of their income, while, for others, generous could be $20-50. That’s just how it is.

If you haven’t been giving, I encourage you to start. Start with SOMETHING. Show God that you trust Him (no, that’s not the only way), and let Him work through you as HE increases in YOU, so YOU can increase.

There have been times when I’ve sat through sermons where pastors have basically accused their congregations of not loving God enough, or made to feel guilty if they aren’t tithing. Remember, God is not the accuser. He DOES correct, don’t get me wrong, but He’s also not going to bring the hammer down on you if you’re having issues tithing.

For more in-depth questions and insight on tithing (old law vs. new covenant), I suggest you do your own research.

This article helped me.

To end, when it comes to giving, I’ll go right on back to where Pastor West left his sermons.

No, Paul (nor Jesus) gave an amount to give, but, are you willing?

Comments are closed.