In today’s modern world, the idea of tithing and making regular offering to God has fallen by the wayside for many individuals. Many are struggling financially, and the idea of relinquishing some of your financial wealth or possessions simply doesn’t seem like good financial sense.
Tithing and offerings are not about the Christian giving his own money to the Lord, but rather an act of returning it to the original owner. All things exist through His grace, and therefore in truth, the wealth that you have, you keep only as a steward upon His behalf. So, if you think about it, when a Christian chooses not to tithe, he is in fact stealing from God.
According to Malachi 3:7-10:
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said,’ Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God?’ Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
In this passage, there are two very important ideas that should be recognized. The first is that tithes and offerings are returned to God, and not given. Christians are stewards of what they have, and therefore the possessions within our care should be treated with respect and love.
There is a difference between tithes and offerings, and it is one that many Christians fail to realize. A tithe, by definition is a proportionate part of your gross income, usually 10%. An offering is what you choose to give back to God above and over that 10%.
So, besides not stealing from God, why should a Christian provide tithes and regular offerings? The passage in Malachi quoted above provides a very real incentive. Whatever is returned to God, He will return in full. If you return to God what is His, He will in turn bless you with the promise and grace that only he can provide. What could be a better incentive than that?