We all know that when Jesus was crucified at Calvary “The Law” was nailed to the cross. No matter how you look at it tithing (or the giving of 10% of your income) was part of the law and it is therefore an old testament principal. Yet, why do so many preachers teach that we are FREE from the law yet preach tithing? It is because they can’t completely trust God or His people to rightly give to the church.
They operate out of fear – not faith, control – not trust, condemnation – not freedom.
If pastors were to truly begin to teach that the tithe is Old Testament half the churches in America would shut down – not such a bad idea considering that many of those same churches don’t have a move of God there anyways. Pastors will even go as far to tell you that according to Malachi 3:10 if you don’t tithe you are under a curse. Not true! No Christian can be cursed for not tithing or claim blessings because of tithing today. It is an Old Testament principal!
How much should you give? What should be the guidelines?
Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit would come He would guide us into all truth. Even giving? Yup. So actually the tithe is the very antithesis of the New Testament principle of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you as to how much you should give.
When I pastored a church I taught that we are to be led of the Holy Spirit as to how much we are to give – not confined to a percentage or guilt or fear. We never lacked for anything. We had excess. We were able to open a Baby Shop where several times a week we gave away everything from diapers, medicine, formula, cribs, baby food, bottles and pacifiers. It was a very small church and people came from everywhere amazed at what God was doing in our small fellowship.
During the time I was pastoring it wasn’t unusual for people to tell me how much bondage they had been under when pastors would preach “the curse” that would come on them if they didn’t give 10%. They said that when I explained how God wants us to give freely and cheerfully it made them want to give even more. It broke the demonic spirit of guilt and condemnation. I was often told they felt free – not free from obedience, but free from the bondage of the law.
Yes, the Word of God is very clear that you should give. Giving keeps the lights on, pays the bills, keeps the church functioning. It is important to give. But there are too many people who give out of guilt instead of a joyful heart.
The Word of God gives us a clear mandate about giving
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God gives a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7
There should be two aspects when you give – joyfulness and desire. You should give a certain amount because the Holy Spirit is leading you, not because you are feeling pressured. When you do this you feel joy in giving, not a burden.
When I began teaching this principle I had several people tell me that they felt freedom and joy in the Lord, not a burden to have to give a certain percentage. Over the years Michael and I have given anywhere from 2% to 70% of our income. No matter how you look at it the giving should not be based on a percentage but on a heart decision of obedience. We always pray about it and ask the Lord to show us how much we are to give. Sometimes there was nothing to give and I would clean the church. There were times the Lord told us that we were to fix a single mom’s car and not give to the church that month.
When Believers are giving as directed by God it will all work out – there will be no lack.
Gal. 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are NOT under the law.”
Even when giving is sacrificial and it is done according to what God tells you to do and not what a pastor has said – there is always joy in it – not fear, guilt or condemnation.