The New Testament doesn’t command giving a tithe, but it does command giving! So how much should Christians give? Giving requires wisdom, and here are three New Testament principles to help you determine the amount.
First, Christians give according to their income
Two New Testament verses make the point that the amount Christians give relates to the amount of their income:
- 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.
- 2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
Neither verse states how much Christians give, but they do say that giving should be according to our income.
Luke 12:48 For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.
Although this isn’t speaking directly of finances, the principle applies. If God gives you more, He expects you to give more. It’s completely reasonable that some people should give much more than a tithe (10%).
Second, Christians give sacrificially
This is another reason it’s not a good idea for Christians to feel bound to a tithe. For some Christians that would require very little sacrifice.
This principle is important – not just because of what it teaches us about giving – but because of what it teaches us about our relationships with the Lord in general. God doesn’t need our money. His will is accomplished with or without our help. But God allows us to worship Him through giving, and the only way our giving is worshipful is if it involves some sacrifice.