Tithes and Offerings

Our Commitment Sunday is just over a week away. The time is now to think about how we will support the mission and ministry of our church for 2022. Often we talk in worship about tithes and offerings. Here is a brief explanation.

A tithe is a portion (10%) of your income given as an offering to the church. The word tithe literally means tenth in Hebrew. Since the custom of tithing is from the Old Testament, many Christians and Jews practice it as part of their faith.

Leviticus 27:30 (NLT) says, “One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy.” And Proverbs 3:9 (NIV) says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.”

Those farming metaphors may have thrown you off, but what these verses are really saying is to give a portion (specifically a tenth) of whatever you make back to God. And first fruits is just a biblical way of saying that you should give first—before you do anything else with your money.

The Bible explains that tithing is an important part of faith for those who follow God and that your tithe should be money you set aside first. That’s why giving should be a first priority in your budget. When you tithe before spending your money on everything else, you’re making it a priority instead of an afterthought. You’re giving your first fruits instead of your leftovers.

Some folks might debate if the tithe is exclusively given to your local church. There is no flaw to that kind of thinking for sure. I tend toward thinking about the tithe as being toward the God of kingdom in the world. I consider my giving to ministries and missions beyond my local church as part of my tithe. The key for me about tithing is 10% to God first.

Tithes and offerings are grouped together a lot, but they’re definitely not the same thing. Technically, an offering is anything extra that you give beyond the tithe. After you’ve tithed, saved, and paid all your bills and expenses for the month, you can use any extra money in your budget to give even more! This can look like giving an offering to your church above and beyond your normal tithe, giving money to a charity you support, giving to a friend in need, or giving your time and skills by volunteering.

How will you consider your tithes and offerings in 2022? The time to start planning is now. Here is a basic budgeting guide: 10% tithing, 10% saving, 80% for spending.

In His Grip,
Mike Toluba

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