I know, I know. For years, churches have preached the tithe as a standard. Give 10% and you have arrived. Why they’ve preached this I’m not quite sure. It’s easy. After all, it’s a standard. It’s a rule that people can follow.
But if you read the whole of scripture, God’s never been about doing things the ordinary way. He lead the children of Israel through the wilderness when a more direct path awaited. They crossed the Red Sea—not in a boat but by parting the water. And for forty years, he gave them bread and meat from heaven. Who does that?
Now in the OT, God described certain minimums that people should reach in their giving. They called those the tithe, and there were in fact three of them. If you added them up it would have been above 20%. But after the tithe there were things called offerings and there were no limits. You could give a lot more.
And in the NT, the standard was to give as God has blessed you. That’s a pretty broad standard. Does God limit his blessing to us to 10%? Think about it. What kind of God would he be if he said, “Hey, when I get to 10%, I’m just going to stop blessing you?” Or what would have happened if Jesus gave only 10% of his life?
No, in fact, God gives us this crazy, radical, lavish kind of love. It’s extravagant. It’s way more than 10%. It’s way more than I deserve. Give as I’ve been blessed? Well, I don’t think I can ever repay all his blessings to me. What about you?
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Published October 12, 2011