Giving is an Act of Worship
Facts Regarding Christian Generosity
Giving is a most proper response to what God has given us, which can Produce:
Connection to God
A visible witness to your belief
God gives instruction on being generous
Generosity means giving of the first of our fruits to God: Tithing (Proverbs 3: 9-10)
-Once we have gotten ahold of our spending the first thing we should “spend” our money on is God.
God encourages systematic generosity (1Corinthians 16:2)
-Integrate your giving into the weekly/monthly routine of your financial life. Automate, it is today’s best tactic.
Generosity should reflect the reality of our situation
-It is not about an exact percentage, 10% you’re in heaven, 9.99% you’re out. If 10% of your income means you cannot pay rent or eat, then you are not called to give this much. On the other hand if you’re needs are met then give the rest, if that comes to 20%, then so be it.
Generosity does involve sacrifice (2Corinthians 8:1-4)
-All giving, like savings, means that you are giving up some consumption today. You are intentionally denying something that you might really want to glorify God with some of the wealth you produce.
Giving is thoughtful and voluntary. (2Corinthians 9:5-7)
Generosity begins with faith (Hebrews 11: 4)
Giving Q & A
While not exhaustive, here are a few common questions regarding giving. Remember these are only guidelines. Only God knows if we are doing all we can in response to what He has given us.
WHEN I CALCULATE MY TITHE, SHOULD IT BE ON MY NET OR GROSS INCOME?
Proverbs 3:9-10 says that God has asked for first fruits, which is the first and best of all that we receive. We interpret this to be out total personal income before taxes (gross).
SHOULD I TITHE IF I AM IN DEBT?
The tithe helps us learn to fear God, which is the beginning of wisdom. If there is anyone in the world who needs God’s wisdom in finances, it is a person already in debt.
IS IT OKAY TO TAKE MY TITHE MONEY AND PUT IT TOWARD BIBLE COLLEGE TUITION?
Malachi 3 says we are stealing from God if we don’t pay an honest tithe. Saving for a Christian education is a good thing, but not if our lack of trust causes us to rob God for it.
COULD TITHE MONEY BE USED TO SUPPORT SECULAR ORGANIZATIONS?
The tithe is given in God’s name and should be used specifically for His work.
SHOULD I TITHE THE PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF MY HOUSE?
We believe we should tithe on a profit from any sale because, it is, in fact part of our first fruits. Even if the profits are to be reinvested in a new home, a tithe should be given first. Remember, it was God who enabled us to realize the profit.
SHOULD A PERSON TITHE ON AN INHERITANCE?
Yes, an inheritance is part of our “increase”.
WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE PAYMENTS RECEIVED AFTER THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE-SHOULD A PERSON TITHE ON THE LUMP SUM OR JUST ON THE INTEREST EARNINGS?
Again, look at the principle of tithing on our “increase”. If insurance proceeds are paid in a lump sum distribution, a tithe should first be paid on the entire amount.
- Afterword a tithe should be paid on any increase received (interest, dividends or growth) from the investment of those funds.
- If rather than being paid in a lump sum, the proceeds are held in trust and distributed periodically, then a tithe should be paid on each distribution.
WOULDN’T YOU BE EXEMPT FROM TITHING IF YOU WERE ON A FIXED INCOME (SOCIAL SECURITY, PENSION ANNUITY) AND BARELY MAKING ENDS MEET?
Money received from Social Security is a return of wages that were previously earned. For those who have tithed on their income during the period that Social Security was being withdrawn from their wages, it is not necessary to tithe again. However, remember that we are not trying to fulfill a law when tithing, rather we are cheerfully giving out of a heart of gratitude no matter how God has provided for our needs.