Tithing is a term almost all Christians are familiar with; the act of giving a portion of ones income back to God via the church or other Christian institutions.
The word Tithe literally means, “Tenth” and is first seen in the biblical book of Genesis chapter 14. This chapter describes how Abraham gives Melkisidek, King of Salem, “Tithes” after he has defeated a great foe.
The question is, should a Christian tithe? Is there a specific amount to be given? Is tithing just money or other things as well? The Bible does not mandate tithing but does tell Christians to give to those around them and to God. In 2 Corinthians, chapter 9 verse 6 it says, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
John Montgomery, dean of spiritual life said, “Tithe is the minimum of what we should be giving” and “it’s important to recognize that tithing is not specifically about money.”
He continued to say that Christians should be giving in other ways besides money such as time, support, and how we live. He explained that our giving should start at the local church level since this is the way Christianity is set up; to spread the gospel around the world. Unfortunately, the amount of money Christians give to missions has steadily declined. In 1920 the church gave 10 percent of their total offerings to missions, compared with today’s smaller amount of 2 percent.
‘The key to giving to God is to be a cheerful giver from a young age,” Mr. Montgomery said. He also expressed,” It’s easier to give more when you have less, than to give more when you are well off.” He went on to clarify that as young people we need to see that God is the owner and provider of everything we have.
A good example of this giving principal is Pastor Rick Warren, who explained how he and his family have set up the way they give back to God. In their case, they live off 10% and give back 90% to God. Even though Rick Warren is the author of one of the most popular books of all time he has not allowed fame and riches to tarnish him or his family or how they give back to God.
It is important to have a “giving” mind set; we should not be giving to get but giving to give. It is vital as college students that we solidify this in our hearts now when we are young because if planted early, the root of giving will not be pulled up by the receiving of wealth or riches.
As John Montgomery said we need to, “Give above and beyond our means because you can’t out give God!”