Everything we have comes from God. Everything. So, when we give a portion of what He’s given to us back to Him, we are letting God know that we’re placing our faith and our financial future in His hands. This significant act deepens our faith, and our relationship with God will be strengthened in amazing ways – which results in Changed Lives! Give to God before you give to anything else in your life!
Should I give 10%?
Let’s see what the Bible says about this one. Tithing (giving 10%) is an Old Testament law practice. We know that in Jesus’ day the religious people were still practicing the tithe but it had become less about a relationship and reliance upon God, and more about legalism and ritual. In Matthew 23:23 we see that, while Jesus blasted the religious leaders of his day for their motives for giving, he never told them not to tithe. Today, although the New Testament nowhere commands or recommends that Christians submit to a legalistic tithing system and doesn’t even assign a certain percentage to give, it does talk about the importance and benefits of giving. The truth is, Jesus gave us the New Testament model for giving: Radical Generosity! It’s a radical detachment from stuff and money that allows us to give it up sacrificially whenever there are needs or good cause. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says that “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Each and every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom as to whether to participate in tithing and/or for how much he or she should give (James 1:5). Although we’re not bound by Old Testament law, the tithe is still a good rule of thumb and a good practice for Christians today. So, should Christians give 10%? Yes, but not because we have to, but because we get to! If God commanded 10% for His people and Jesus endorsed the tithe, then at least it’s a good starting point for us. As Jesus would say, “Freely you have received, freely give!”
Should we tithe off our gross or net income?
The Bible does not specifically say whether we should give 10% off our gross or net income. The Old Testament teaches the principle of firstfruits (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 2:12-14; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Old Testament believers gave from the best of their crops, not the leftovers. The same principle should apply to our giving today.
Should I give to the church or to missions?
The Bible clearly shows that your consistent, regular giving should definitely go to support the local body of believers that you’re a part of. If Christians didn’t do this…well, the local church would cease to exist! No pastors, no children’s programs, no food pantry, no care counseling, no local outreach, no worship services…Well, you get the picture! In fact, the churches first responsibility is to reach the people right here in our area. To support personal programs outside the local church with your total tithe is not a good practice, and it’s not found Biblically. The New Testament church model found in the book of Acts clearly shows that money was to be brought directly to church leadership. Missions/missionaries that went out from the church were supported by the church collectively, not by all the people individually. At Real Life we have a deep commitment to support world missions, and we do that right off the top from the money that’s given each week in our offerings. Our missions in India and Myanmar are growing and thriving because of our financial investment in global outreach. Souls are being saved and peoples’ lives are being changed in dramatic ways as a result of the faithful giving of our congregation.
If Real Life wants to help people get out of debt, why do we accept credit card donations?
Many people use debit and credit cards in place of checks or cash throughout the month, and then pay off the balance in full. Used within these parameters, they can be an efficient tool for payments and purchases. For these people, we offer the option of using a debit or credit card to give. We strongly discourage those who have ongoing credit card debt from exercising this option.