Why Do We Give Tithes and Offerings?
Giving in the form of tithes and offerings is an important part of Christianity. Tithing is frequently mentioned in the Bible, like when Moses said, “From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze.” (Exodus 35:5)
What is the importance of tithing and offering, and why do we frequently make these kinds of donations? Read on to learn the truth about tithes and offerings!
Importance of Giving Tithes and Offerings
Before we go further into the topic, we must examine why we tithe. Here are three reasons why tithing is important:
God Commands Us to Do So
Tithing is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. Scripture tells us, “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.” (Deuteronomy 14:22)
God commands us to set aside one-tenth of what we produce for the church. In modern society, your “produce” can be anything from your salary to your business profits.
Tithing Shows Your Love for God
The tithe is the Lord’s way of asking us to show our love. Giving God a percentage of our earnings shows that we put our love for Him before our need for money.
Tithing Grows Trust in God
By sacrificing 10% of your income, we learn to rely on God. While 10% might be a sizable part of some people’s earnings, giving tithes means you trust that God will still provide you with enough food and wealth to live.
Difference Between Tithes and Offerings
Tithes and offerings are closely related because they both involve giving. However, there are two key differences between tithes and offerings:
Tithes literally mean “one-tenth”, so it has a set amount of 10% of your income, as defined by Scripture: “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” (Leviticus 27:30)
Meanwhile, offerings have no set amount. Everyone can decide how much to give with each offering, as mentioned in the Bible, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that He has given you.” (Deuteronomy 16:17)
Whenever you make money, you’re called on to give tithes first. This means tithing is the first priority when giving. Meanwhile, offerings are generally optional and come after the tithe.
Purpose of Tithes in the Bible
The main purpose of tithes and offerings in the Bible is to teach us to put God first. As said in the Bible, “Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place He will choose as a dwelling for His Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.” (Deuteronomy 14:23)
Why Do We Pay Tithes in Church
Tithing is a source of income for your church. Like any other institution, the church needs that money to pay upkeep costs and stay in operation.
Here are some examples of what the church may use your tithes for:
- Paying pastors, ministers, and other church staff members
- Funding outreach programs like soup kitchens and donations for the needy
- Maintaining the church building and equipment
- Supporting the Sunday school and other church programs
- Donating to local charities
- Raising funds for church youth groups
Connecting to God Through Giving
If you love money, you can’t love God and vice versa. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
We don’t truly own our wealth – we’re stewards entrusted with money and riches by God. As stewards, God trusts us to use this money for His glory. The truth of God’s tithes and offerings is that we bring ourselves closer to Him when we give.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Giving tithes and offerings puts our love for God before our worldly wealth and shows that our heart is always with Him.
Types of Tithes and Offerings
You have many ways to give in service to God. Here are four of the most common types of tithes and offerings for Christians:
Tithes are offerings to your local church worth 10% of your income. You might tithe to church immediately after you get paid.
Offerings are given after tithes and on certain holy days of the year. However, you can also make offerings throughout the year whenever you want.
First fruits are typically offerings given annually at “harvest time.” If you’re not a farmer, “harvest time” can mean anything from work bonuses to tax refunds. Whatever your harvest may be, giving first fruits is a way to show your gratitude to God for His blessings.
Alms are a type of giving where you give directly to other people and not through the church. Some examples of alms-giving include:
- Donating money to soup kitchens
- Giving cash to the needy
- Donating clothes and food to charitable organizations
Encouragement for Giving Tithes and Offerings
Do you need more reasons to give tithes and offerings? Here are some of our favorite Bible verses about 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.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
- “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)
- “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” (Proverbs 18:16)
- “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)
Tithes and offerings are an important part of Christianity because, by giving, we put our love for God before our love for money. Giving also supports the church to spread the Gospel and teach the Bible to members.