Study to show thyself – Tithing and the parable of the talents

A lot has been written and still is being written on the subject of tithing. For a lot of churches it is a requirement for membership, leadership etc. Meticulous tithe records are kept and those who do not tithe are usually berated and publicly ridiculed.

The promise of the tithe is – tithe and you will always have everything in abundance but when this abundance is not forth coming you are then told that tithing is a form of sacrifice that shows your love for God. In other words if you do not tithe you do not love God. That is blackmail undoubtedly.

The focus of this post is not on the legalities of tithing per say but on how it relates to the parable of the talents.

In Mathew 25: 15 – 30, Jesus tells a parable which He likens to the Kingdom of heaven. This parable was of a man whom before travelling to a far country delivered his goods to his servants; to one he gave five talents, two to another and one to the last, each according to their abilities. On his return, he was pleased that he who was given five had made five more; he who was given two had made two more and was angry with him that was given one and brought it back. How does this relate to tithing you may ask? In more ways than you can imagine. Those that promote the practise of tithing tell you that 10% of what you earn is God’s and the rest of the 90% is yours. How true is this? Quite untrue I dare say. The entire 100% you earn belongs to God and He chose to give it to you to see how good a steward you would be with His money. Do not forget that He is the one that gives you the power to make wealth.

The parable of the talents was all about stewardship. The master was pleased with the servants that multiplied the talents given them but was angry with the servant that gave back what was originally given him. What does this tell us? It tells us that God is more interested in the way you spend the entire 100% than in getting a 10% from you. And because some believers are not disciplined in the way they spend money, they are still broke even though they tithe faithfully.

Let me use this illustration to buttress my point. When I was a lot younger, my dad used to give my siblings and I a weekly pocket allowance. He had taken into consideration the amount of money we would likely need to meet our needs for the week such as money for transportation, mobile phone bills etc. Lets say I decide to show to my dad that I love him so much by giving him back 10% of what he originally gave to me, am sure he will be very pleased. If my dad suddenly discovers that I have been struggling to pay my mobile phone bill and have accumulated a huge debt because the 10% I had given to him made it impossible for me to meet my weekly obligations, do you think he will be pleased? Of course not! He would expect me to show a lot more common sense. Let us also imagine that I am able to use the remaining 90% quite well and begin to indulge myself spending frivolously I do not think my dad would be pleased with that either. Also, if I show great responsibility with the 90% spending wisely my dad would certainly be pleased and could quite likely increase my allowance because he knows I am responsible with money.

Good stewardship is all that God requires. If you are heavily in debt and tithing becomes impossibly, God expects you to show common sense by trying to get yourself out of debt. Tithing while in debt and hoping that God would consider it an act of sacrifice and automatically wipe off all your debts is nothing short of wishful thinking. Why did you get into debt in the first place? In the same vane, tithing when you have not paid your bills too does not show good judgement. These are bills you would still have to pay sooner or later and if you choose to pay later you may end up paying more because you may have accrued charges. Why risk bankruptcy in trying to show that you love God? That would no longer be freedom in Christ but a legalistic bondage.

The book of Proverbs 3: 9 admonishes us to honour God with our wealth in other words let the way we manage all He has blessed us with bring honour to HIM. I don’t think bankruptcy brings Him honour.

If you decide that you would like to give God 10% of your monthly earnings there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is something you can afford. Don’t give him 10% and waste the remaining 90% on bank charges, unpaid bills or wasteful spending, that would be very unprofitable.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark Silver
    Jun 10, 2009 @ 19:23:10

    How interesting that we both blogged about tithing at about the same time! I really like the parable you use. It’s very painful to see people using tithing in ways that either harm themselves or others, when clearly it’s mean to be a source of blessings.

    Reply

  2. rimmonperez
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 06:11:49

    Hi,

    Mark, I am also against tithing. I don’t understand why people are so ignorant about the Biblical truth. The way you explain the parable of talent is interesting.

    Reply

  3. eliteinchrist
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 23:16:41

    Thanks rimmonperez. May the good Lord continue to give us grace.

    Reply

  4. Krys Gabz
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 00:38:02

    i like how you deliver explanation about giving, our God loves a cheerful giver 🙂

    Reply

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