God doesn't just deserve the best, he doesn't just deserve the first, he deserves it ALL.
All I have, and am, and am able to earn or do is because of him and his grace and mercy in my life. He created me, he bought me, he paid my sin debt, he owns me, and all he allows me to administer in this life is really his.
So What About the Ten Percent Tithe?
My husband and I have been against the strict ten percent tithe for some time, believing that a heart giving out of joy and thanksgiving shouldn't behave in a way that says “10% is yours God, and now I can do what I want to with the rest. I've complied. I did my duty. You should approve me and bless me now.” That attitude creates legalist attitude, an earning-God's-favor-by-what-I-do bondage.
Rather, we believe the true spirit of the biblical tithe is a lifestyle of living daily in a right relationship with my Savior in which I have a conscious understanding that
“100% is yours Lord, how do you want me to administer each and every single percentage?”
Christ praised the widow who gave her last two mites for giving 100% of her income (Luke 21:1-4). He praised her because she withheld nothing from the Lord, proving her faith in his provision.
And he did not make an example of the hypocrites for giving or not giving a certain percentage (Matthew 6:1-4). In fact, percentages of their income were never mentioned! That wasn't the issue Christ was concerned with. His caution to not be like the hypocrites was because they boasted in their giving; their only motivation for giving was to be seen by and receive the praise of men.
The heart attitude of desire to please and praise the Lord with the way we administer his funds is much more important in God's eyes than the percentage we “give to him”. He doesn't get any glory if we give grudgingly. This is not an exercise is paying him. He owns it all anyway.
Tithing is an exercise of gratefulness, adoration and trust in God.
We don't know Larry Poole and have never read anything by him until this morning when we found his article about withholding nothing from the Lord: “Why I Quit Tithing Years Ago, and Why I Think You Should Too.” We'd encourage you to read it.
If you have found yourself thinking of your finances, time, or possessions in a “this is God's and this is mine” sort of way, we'd like to challenge you to prayerfully reconsider. It's time that those of us who belong to God stopped tithing on “our money” and started administering “God's money”.