There are 3 purposes of tithing that I’d like to highlight for you; Discipline, Trust and Freewill.
Tithing is a biblical principle that we can see being established right from the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis. God sets something aside as sacred and asks us not to touch it as an act of honour and obedience to Him.
And check out 4 testimonies from first-time tithers.
This mini-series on tithing is part of a larger theme
These habits give you a solid foundation to build upon. Once they are in place these cornerstones make it exponentially easier to develop and commit to additional habits that you might like to achieve.
I want to look at each cornerstone in depth so that you can see for yourself how making these a permanent fixture in your life will dramatically help you to achieve some of the other goals to which you aspire.
The 3 Purposes of Tithing
God, in His infinite wisdom, chose to engage with humanity from a position of love and vulnerability.
Wait, you might say!
Are you trying to tell me that God is Vulnerable???
Yes and No. Allow me to explain.
Of course, God is not vulnerable in the sense that He is the Ultimate, all seeing, all knowing, omnipresent, omnipotent, supreme being and creator of all things.
But God chose to establish a relationship with us His creation from a position of vulnerability.
A relationship in which He would give us everything and all we had to do in return was choose to trust Him.
I honestly believe that this is what drove Satan to absolute insanity! He could not fathom why The Great Lord Almighty would ever want to befriend His creation in a relationship based on promises and love.
Promises, God knew, we would break.
Satan saw God’s great vulnerability and mistook it for weakness. And in his foolishness, he actually thought he could challenge and overthrow God.
God’s love for us and His willingness to endure rejection made Satan so uncomfortable.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
― Brené Brown,
Satan didn’t want to see God leading man with truth and courage. He imagined how he would rule, with an iron fist. Power and Authority! He would take control. These thoughts led to iniquity in his heart and he condemned himself to eternal Hell.
How does this relate to tithing???
Because in order to understand tithing, you have to understand that you can’t have everything.
- You have to give!
- You have to sacrifice!
- Not because it’s the law, but because of Grace!
- Because of a promise!
The act of tithing fulfils three purposes;
To Teach Discipline, Demonstrate Trust and Allow for Freewill.
Let’s look at each one.
First, consider that one of the primary relationships Jesus came to establish and restore was discipleship. Where God himself would teach and lead, and we would learn, obey and follow.
In the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam on a daily basis. They talked and enjoyed each others company. That was true communion with God, where everything was exposed, reverent and clear. There was order, respect and most importantly love.
God wanted to teach us Himself. He withheld the fruit from the tree of life because He is Life.
God commanded them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because He wanted to open our eyes and enjoy that relationship of teaching and guiding. Our Heavenly Father wanted to parent us and love us.
So he gave us boundaries and expectations and promises.
When that line was crossed, He didn’t destroy us, he disciplined us.
He removed us from the garden so we couldn’t do any more damage and began the long hard process of restoration.
God was disciplined in his reaction to our sin.
He had every right to immediately unleash all His righteous anger and smite us for betraying His loving kindness.
Instead, He chose to cover our humanity.
He made the first animal sacrifice to clothe our nakedness and vulnerability.
One of the purposes of tithing is to invite us to take a second chance.
I’ve heard so many people say that Adam and Eve were so foolish and if it had been them, they never would have eaten the fruit.
But the same people literally eat their tithes to God all the time.
10% of your income might be the equivalent to a nice steak dinner for a lot of people. And more often than not, we choose to indulge our desires to be well fed over our opportunity to honour God.
It takes discipline to set aside your tithes and freely give them with joy and gladness to the Lord.
Especially when that money could be used for important things. Necessities.
One could argue that Adam and Eve really needed to know the difference between good and evil. If they had known, maybe they never would have been tricked in the first place.
This is where the first purpose bleeds into the second.
The second purpose of tithing is to develop trust.
If I give up this small portion, can I trust God to keep His promises and cover me?
We trust God with eternity, but we have a really hard time trusting Him until the end of the month.
Very rarely are we invited to test God, but in Malachi 3:10 that is exactly what God tells us to do.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven”
Test Me and See!
Whether or not you believe that there is a curse if you don’t tithe, don’t you want to see the floodgates of heaven thrown open?
This is a challenge that I think we should all eagerly take God up on!
Let’s use some discipline to figure out exactly what the whole tithe in our lives is and bring it to God and say
“Okay God, Your Turn!”
For this reason, I will tithe on every cent I make!
- Birthday money.
- My kid’s child tax benefit.
- Our tax return
- Any tips I get
- Disability, social security, You name it, I’ll give it.
There’s no better return on investment out there than to properly calculate your tithe, give your 10% and enjoy so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. – Malachi 3:10
Not only that, but God goes one step further and claims that He will; “prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” Malachi 3:11
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself; That’s nice, but I don’t have an orchard or fields.
That’s Doubting Thomas logic!
Do you really believe that if you step into this divine promise and test God, He will turn around and say, “Sorry buddy, This coupon only applies to farmers and herdsmen.”
God isn’t like that.
God wants us to step out in bold faith and claim His promises for ourselves.
But, it’s up to you!
It’s your choice.
That’s why the last of the three purposes of tithing is Freewill.
Thanks to the blood of Christ we have free access to God and the Kingdom of Heaven if we choose to receive it.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if the death and resurrection of our Lord means that every curse is broken or just the curse of death. I don’t know if there’s still a curse for not tithing and I don’t care.
It doesn’t matter because I’m not motivated to tithe out of fear, but love.
If you’re looking for an excuse not to tithe, there are plenty out there. The pushback against the tithe is strong!
But if you want results, I challenge you to set your accounts in order and establish this cornerstone in your life.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger said:
“You can have results or excuses, not both.”
I hope you now have a better understanding of the purposes of tithing and why they matter to God.
Make sure you subscribe to the mailing list because you don’t want to miss Part 3 of this series.
The Blessings of Tithing. 4 testimonies from first-time tithers and how it made them feel.
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