“Larry, I wish I could give more.”
“I wish I could give at the level of ten percent of my income, but things are really tight in my family. You know how I had to take a cut in pay last year? I’m also having to help out a friend in real financial need right now. That’s kind of like tithing, right? Me helping out my friend could count toward my tithe to God, couldn’t it?”
If I had a dollar every time I had a conversation similar to this, I could build up a sizeable love offering for my church!
And while helping out friends in need is a noble deed, I can’t say that those financial gifts can “count” toward the tithe according to God’s Word. God makes it pretty clear that we are to bring His tithe and offerings into the “storehouse” [Malachi 3:10]. In the Old Testament, the storehouse equaled the tabernacle, temple, or synagogue. In the New Testament, the storehouse equals the local church that you attend.
An Easier Way To Giving Consistently
In the area of giving, some people seem to have an easier time giving consistently at the level of ten percent and beyond.
After counseling with people on personal finance issues over the last few years, I believe there are two main reasons some people have an easier time giving back to God and His church than others:
- They have a monthly spending plan. You know, the dreaded B word, a “Budget.” They give each dollar a name and tell each dollar what to do.
- They make giving to God and His church a priority in their lives. Their offerings are listed at the top of their budget form each and every month. They give God the very best of the “firstfruits” of their income [Proverbs 3:9].
I know in my own family, we have learned important Biblical financial principles – how to give, save, and spend – through ministry programs such as Financial Peace University and Crown Financial. God has blessed us in amazing ways as we have followed what His Word teaches us regarding financial matters.
All this Biblical financial stuff really does work!
In my own personal experience, giving at the level of the tithe can be relatively pain-free if you have a financial plan, if you make giving a priority in your life, and then if you follow through with your planned gift.
Execution of that plan is key!
A great way you can demonstrate your love for God and His Church is through having a financial plan and establishing giving as a priority in your life.
Isaiah 32:8 tells us, “But he who is generous plans generous things, and on generous things he stands.”
See my Giving Talk Video below where I addressed this exact issue:
Questions: Do you have an easy time giving consistently at the level of ten percent? If not, why not? Do you have a monthly financial plan? Have you established giving as a priority in your life?