I’m no stranger to the tradition of tithes and offering in the church. I’ve sat through more church services than I can count over the course of my lifetime, and this particular part of the service has always been a major part of the experience. And even though I have fully embraced the offering part of this tradition, I really didn’t quite understand or even want to participate, in the practice of tithing until recently. The truth is I really didn’t fully grasp its significance until a few months ago despite several conversations I’ve had with colleagues, church leaders, family elders, etc. So here are five surprising reasons that I, myself, and I’m sure others have had for not tithing:
It’s much easier to just participate in offering instead of tithing.
Take a moment to put yourself in my shoes. Like most people who grew up in the church, the entire concept of giving 10% of my income truly made no sense to me in the beginning. After all, wouldn’t it just be easier to put all of the money in one offering tray, then disburse it as needed among the various causes and ministries within the church? Well, at least, this was my thinking. Of course, I know better now, but you have to admit. That idea makes total sense to a 9-year-old kid. Now that I’m a fully functioning adult with real income, I am more knowledgeable on the significance of giving the Lord 10% of what he has blessed me with. And if this means placing my 10% in a separate tray, then so be it.
Tithing is just another way to raise more money in the church.
We’ve all seen them. They are the various collections that are taken up during this particular part of service that are used for various causes and ministries. There’s the building fund, scholarship fund, pastor’s love offering, sick-and-shut-in donations, deacon board, youth ministry, the list goes on and on. Well, in my mind, tithing was just another way to raise money for another cause. Yes, the funds essentially are used to benefit ministry in some capacity, but I wasn’t really aware of the biblical significance of tithing until recently. The Bible says, “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!’” (Malachi 3:10, NLT). Tithing is more of a practice of faith and commitment than just another donation. I think I finally got the memo.
I’m too young to tithe.
Going back to my earlier point, I truly thought tithing was a tradition for the older saints and elders of the Church. I figured that as long as I was in fairly close proximity with a faithful tither, I was surely covered. After all, I was just a young adult, right? Today, I know that the Lord isn’t asking for much. In fact, 10% is something that can be provided at any age. Think about it, growing up, receiving $1 dollar was everything! To take a dime of your money and give it back to God is really not asking for much.
I feel like I’m being forced to tithe.
Prior to reading the Bible for myself and developing a real relationship with God (not the kind of relationship I’ve had throughout my life where someone else taught me how to go through the motions), tithing always seemed like a forced practice in the church, and if you’re anything like me, you’re the kind of person who isn’t fond of being forced to do anything. However, I now know that the Lord loves a cheerful giver, and I genuinely do not mind willingly giving and contributing toward things that I know will ultimately glorify His name. After all, it’s the least I can do after all He’s done for me, right?
You have to be financially wealthy to tithe.
I know I’m the only one who would sit in the pews contemplating whether or not to put money in the offering plate. “The Lord knows my heart.” Yes, I would constantly say that too. My issue wasn’t the fact that I didn’t have money. My issue was the fact that I looked at tithing as just another financial burden. In my mind, taking 10% of my income meant taking away a portion of my income that could be used on other priorities. This kind of limited thinking was actually the total opposite of what tithing is all about. It’s about a personal, intimate commitment to God. It’s about trusting and believing that in exchange for giving only a portion of your income, you will be blessed in ways you never could’ve imagined. Now, that’s a tradition that will never get old!