Some weeks ago, I got into a very interesting discussion with Tide on the issue of tithe payment. In his opinion, the Church places too much emphasis on tithing as an injunction. His opinion is however not unfounded; the truth is no conventional Sunday Service ends if tithes have not been paid. For me, the emphasis is understandable, it is a Biblical injunction. Isn’t it? Besides, the Church needs money to fulfill the Great Commission; Just like a saying in Yoruba corroborates, evangelism is not cheap.
Tide also believes that Churches have made tithing a huge source of revenue and it tithes are no longer used for the purposes of evangelism or ensuring “there is meat in the house of the Lord” yet the congregation is being “threatened” with dwindling wealth or even hell fire should they fail bring all the tithes into the house of the Lord. In fact, beyond the tithing issue, Tide believes that church members are being subtly defrauded. It is not uncommon to hear pastors trying to encourage members to sow seeds by telling stories of people who sowed seeds and reaped bountiful harvests afterwards. I think that’s not a bad thing but some pastors actually go the extra mile and it is this extra mile that causes ‘kwanta’
There was the story of a Church Member who arrested his Pastor for fraud. On further inquiry, the Church Member stated that the Pastor asked them to sow seeds (money) and see what God would do in seven days. So, taking a great step of ‘faith’, he sowed his savings and after seven days, guess what happened? You guessed right. Nothing! So, the church member felt defrauded.
On a more serious note, this is not to further concretise the divide that exists between persons who believe tithing is not for the new testament believer and those who don’t. The essence of this article is to bring our actions into perspective. I believe in tithing and I pay tithe but I try to ensure that I am doing it for the right reasons.
So do you pay tithe? Why do you pay tithe? The truth is many persons tithe because the pastor says so or the Bible says so and some others tithe only because they expect the flood gates of heaven to open up so they can receive blessings which their barns cannot contain as God promised. Don’t pay your tithe only because you are afraid of the devourer that might creep into your wealth.
The Bible says that everything a man has was received from God. This therefore means that we are merely stewards of God’s resources. The Bible also says that it is required of stewards to be found faithful. So, you should pay tithe as a sign of your faithfulness to God for the resources he has released to you not because your Pastor says it.
When we pay tithe regularly and in a committed manner, you are simply returning the glory to God who gave you the power to make wealth. You will not be like the Rich Man who had surplus and was ready to tear down and rebuild his barns without acknowledging the God. There is nothing that can demolish a man’s empire in an instance more than taking the glory due to God. The story of the Rich Man is a good example:
“And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Nothing a man has was not given to him.” Luke 12:17-20 (KJV)
God rewards faithfulness with increase as was exemplified by the parable of the talents.
“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
Matthew 25:29 (KJV)
When you pay your tithes, don’t do it as a means of exchange with God. You might discover you are only chasing a mirage. Tithing is not about getting more money; it is about learning to put God first in your life. God is not unfaithful to his word or promises. The Bible says much more shall be given to whosoever is faithful with little but never forget that God is not a money changer.