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Isn’t tithing just a tax?

“Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’S offering.'" Numbers 18:26

The word “tithe” means “tenth.” When people brought a tithe, they brought a tenth of their income, whether it was in grain, livestock or cash. Tithing, though, is not a financial penalty, but an outward expression of an inward relationship with God, a gift, revealing our love for God. We don’t have that kind of relationship with the government.

Tithing is an act of obedience. God commands the people to give. By not giving, you are not obeying. If your heart surrenders to God, then it cheerfully surrenders those material goods around you.

Tithing shows appreciation to God for all he has given us. It shows that we acknowledge everything we have comes from him. It’s an act of worship and love.

Tithing makes us humble and keeps our greed in check. Giving money away reveals a heart that cares for others. Hoarding our money and building warehouses to store our money reveal our selfishness.

Tithing is also a gesture of trust. By giving it away, you are showing that you don’t trust your money, but you trust God to provide what you need.

Tithing is more for us than it is for God. God doesn’t need our money. He controls all of it. However, we need to have a more gentle and giving heart and tithing helps us to exercise that love with every charitable contribution.

While we must obey the government and pay our taxes, we certainly do not feel appreciation, humility and trust for our government officials. Paying taxes feels like it is more for the government than it benefits us. (Though it does benefit us in police and fire protection, road services, schooling, etc.) Maybe if we had more faith and love for our government, paying taxes wouldn’t be such a burden.