This coming week we celebrate Christmas. Are you ready? Since Christmas is about Jesus, as well as giving gifts, I thought it might be interesting to look at what he said about the topic of giving and tithing. As I read the gospels I am blown away how Jesus takes any subject and gets to the heart of the matter!
For Jesus, there was no question whether a person should give to God. The question was how much? He said things like, “look at this widow, she gave everything” (Luke 21:2-4) as he commends her before the disciples for her giving. He says things like, “whoever does not give up everything cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33) He said in the Sermon on the Mount, “you cannot have two masters, you cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24)
There are so many other examples but the point is, Jesus gets to the heart of the matter to reveal that God owns it all. Giving back to the One who gave it in the first place is a given, and money cannot be first place in your life.
So what does He say about tithing itself? We see in Matthew 23:23 where he nails the Pharisees for their hyper religion that leaves out some major issues:
23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You SHOULD tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Matthew 23:23
When I read this used to think, “How ridiculous!” to tithe out each item from the garden. But then Jesus says, “You Should” He doesn’t even make fun of them for this attention to detail in giving. This is very convicting to me. The life, sacrifice and teachings of Jesus have impacted me greatly.
Now I am going to share what we are doing personally (and this has taken some time for us to get here).
- In our family we give our tithe from the Gross, (before the Government gets any God gets his).
- We tithe on money we receive from birthday or Christmas presents (from a $100 gift, $10 goes back to God) or any extra income, we give 10% of it to God.
- We are increasing our giving amount beyond 10% which is currently around 20%.
We are so blessed! We have found this statement to be true, “you can’t out give God.” Compared to what Jesus gave, what we give is really small. We also pray that we are rich in justice, mercy and faith as well.
So when I reflect upon Matthew 23: 23 and beyond to the cross… I am giving so little in return.
Thanks for stepping out in this journey. Jesus is our example. I pray you have meaningful, reflective and powerful walk with Christ. Merry Christmas!
Until next week, Darrell
Tithe online here.