Tithing – What Does the Bible Say?


What is a tithe?

Let’s start with the basics. Simply put, the tithe is the first 10% of your income that should be given to your local church. It’s strictly measured in money, so you can’t replace it with giving your time or your talents.

What does the Bible say about tithing?

According to Leviticus 27:30 (TLB), "A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy." And 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) says, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Why should I tithe?

The tithe was not put into place for God’s benefit—He already has everything He needs. He doesn’t need our money! (And “our” money is already His anyway.)

Tithing was created for our benefit. It teaches us how to keep God first in our lives and how to live unselfishly. Unselfish people make better spouses, friends, relatives, employees and employers. And they usually have better finances. God is trying to teach us how to prosper over time.

After you’ve tithed, you can give in other ways: Giving a cash offering to your church above and beyond the tithe, giving money to a charity you support, giving to a friend or neighbor in need, or giving of your time or talents. Not only does giving of your money or other resources generate good in the lives of others, but it also generates contentment in your heart.

Remember, no one has ever become poor by giving. But what about those times when you’re wondering if your situation is the exception?

  • Is it okay to pause my tithing during tough financial times?
  • Is it okay to claim a tax deduction for your tithe?
  • I’m not affiliated with a church—should I still give?
  • Is it 10% of my income before or after taxes?
  • Do you increase giving when you start making more money?

Here’s our advice on tithing and giving in situations like these.