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Is Tithing Necessary? (My Tithing Experience)

Updated on February 5, 2012

According to the dictionary a tithe is described as "one-tenth of income or produce formerly paid to the church."

Shortly after my husband, Dave, and I, were married we decided to tithe ten percent of our income to a church we currently belonged to.

We based our decision on Malachi 3:10-11 which reads, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the Lord of hosts."

Since we were both Christians and had recently joined a church, we felt that, by tithing, God would truly bless us financially as well as, in other aspects of our lives.

However, as time went on, Dave and I did not feel we were growing spiritually in our church. For example, the minister scolded the congregation if members were not participating in church duties such as working in the nursery, showing up for work parties or out distributing fliers advertising upcoming events.

We were also struggling financially, and the ten percent we were taking out of our incomes was putting us further and further behind in paying our bills.

One Sunday the minister loudly admonished the audience for poor attendance at a missionary dinner the night before.

After that my husband and I walked out, and we never returned. We agreed if we attended a church service to be blessed left feeling guilty and upset, it was not the place God intended us to be.

It was at that time we stopped tithing.

Things seemed to be going fairly well until Dave unexpectedly lost his job on his twentieth anniversary with the company who employed him. It took him six months to find another job with a starting salary way below what he was making. It took him another seven years to secure a decent paying job with good benefits. As a result, we lost thousands of dollars. However, God had a plan for our lives.

In May, 2007, I purchased a book containing a chapter about tithing. The author had filed for bankruptcy twice. He and his wife had lost their home and were living in an apartment that was so bad there were dead flies on the bathroom floor every morning when they got up. He began tithing, and slowly things started to change. Today he is a millionaire.

From this book I figured out why Dave and I had struggled so much when we were tithing years ago. He said that when you give ten percent, give it to where you are being blessed spiritually. It does not have to be a church. It can be an organization, or even an individual who is blessing you spiritually.

I realized God could not bless our tithe because we had been giving our ten percent to a church where we were not growing. We gave with reluctance and out of obligation.

After all these years God began, again, to place tithing on my heart. I told Dave I had made a decision to give ten percent of all income I received, including any unexpected money, such as a gift for my birthday. If I found a quarter on the sidewalk, ten percent would go to God.

Dave told me he had no problem with me doing that.

On May 26, 2007, I began to tithe.

Since I was not attending a church, I started mailing ten percent of any monies received to a Christian radio network that had been blessing me for years. This time I gave from my heart, instead of out of obligation. I made a commitment to God that, no matter what happened, I would put my finger on Malachi 3:10 and claim His promises.

Although God has never let us down, regardless of whether or not we have tithed, I believe I made the right decision. I've discovered tithing is not just about finances. It covers many things, such as safety and protection. A couple times, while driving, I came so close to being hit, I have no idea how the other vehicle missed me. Malachi 3:10-11 also promises God will rebuke the devourer, protect our homes, gardens, and our trees and vines will flourish with fruit. Not to mention our health. Every time before my husband and I go to the doctor, I ask God for a good report.,

I find unexpected bargains when I shop. I keep a daily gratitude column in my diary, and I log every blessing that comes our way to remind me of just how good God is.

Since that time my husband has escaped two layoffs, received several raises and one promotion. Every day I pray for Dave's job, health and safety.

Also, a close friend of the family passed away three days before Christmas in 2007 after a sudden acute illness, and she left me a small inheritance. This was a very unexpected great answer to prayer, as our den, living room and bedroom were in desperate need of repair. I immediately tithed this surprise gift, and I still had enough left over to redo all three rooms.

I am still tithing (it will be five years in May, 2012). I intend to continue doing this until my last day on earth. I have found tithing to be one of the most blessed positive decisions I have ever made. Why? Because God is always faithful to His word. He never breaks a promise.

Finally, I am not saying everyone, Christian or not, should tithe. However, I personally believe anything written in the Bible to be true.

This is my tithing experience. It is my sincere hope that anyone who reads my story will find it to be a source of encouragement on just how great God is.

Blessings always, Sincerely, Sparklea :)


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      Anita 3 years ago

      I have given this particular sujecbt a great deal of thought and reflection over the years, based on the circumstance I mentioned above. I'm sure the parents of LJ meant no harm and believed they were dressing their daughter modestly, and her age an important component. Yet her outfit had the net result of becoming immodest under the circumstance. If we consider a continuum from bikini to burkini, hers tended toward the latter end of the that spectrum. I can't argue with the results of the Princeton study, but I remain skeptical at the size and makeup of the sample group and the lack of more extensive data. The link above to the study is broken, so I am basing my opinion on what I was able to learn from other news sources. Additionally, I have been privileged to have seen many parts of the world, and have seen varying concepts of modesty. (Not as a matter of wealth but for other reasons)The point I am arguing is that modesty has to be relative to the particular cultural circumstance. You are stating that the bikini is by definition, immodest, that it can under no circumstance be modest, similarly for the Finnish sauna, though I'd imagine the Finns would vehemently disagree. Effectively you are arguing that for a woman, anything more than exposed leg, exposed arm, and exposed hair are by definition, immodest. Yet a significant part of the world would disagree, and demand that legs, arms, and hair be covered. Furthermore, how much exposed arm, leg, belly? If it were that simple the Scriptures would contain a calculator for entering height and weight and determining an area measurement of proper covering. They do not. St. Paul gave guidance on what not to wear, in the context of the times, and for a very good reason IMO related to piety. The gold and braids in similar context the Rolex and the Porsche, or heavy makeup. However, that also does not make any of them inherently sinful. Both the Rolex and Porsche are very well built machines, if not flaunting or envying economic status, there is no harm in recognizing and appreciating that craftsmanship. Heavy makeup for both sexes is obviously necessary and therefore appropriate if performing under lights. Provocative need not necessarily be revealing. If that were the case, prostitutes would wear less. That is often not the case. The choice of wear is not necessarily revealing, but conveying nonetheless a very specific message. I would also disagree that Scriptures state that seeing someone naked is *inherently* a bad thing. If limited to opposite sexes, a male e.g. could never assist in child birth, nor either sex with imaging, physical therapy, massage therapy, etc., a member of the opposite sex. Here again, it depends on the context. You state an absolute, where is the exception for medicine? What qualifies as medicine? A physician in Europe might order spa treatment. As another example, it is acceptable in N. America and Europe for members of the same sex to change and shower together. Contrast to the middle East again, and a locker room where even changing into workout clothes was done in private.St Peter was naked while fishing. (There are varying interpretations on what that exactly meant in terms of dress: naked or in some sort of underwear ) but whatever the garment it was appropriate for fishing. For him, though, I would surmise he felt, it was not appropriate to greet his Master. Similarly if I were working in the yard on a hot day and removed my shirt, my society would deem that OK, but would require I put that shirt back on to greet an unexpected guest. For Adam and Eve, they were alone as husband and wife when thrown out of Paradise. There was no one else to see them naked, so by itself, their nakedness could not have been inherently wrong. I think there are many many lessons to take from that, but one, that humans would have to hunt for food, and need shelter from the harshness of the world. That I think is emphasized by Him clothing them in animal skins, which required a killing, when something other than animal skin would have likely done just as well. They were entering a world with violence and hardship. Violence with a purpose (hunting by man and animal) but violence nonetheless. Again, there is much much more to be learned from even those two snippets, but enough for purposes of this discussion.Now, maybe I am idealistic or unrealistic, and that in N. American society, cultural norms would view the bikini as immodest, and that the majority of beach goers are therefore either immodest or witting/unwitting voyeurs of immodesty. Similarly, nudity is not acceptable in a coed sauna in N. America, nor even in many single sex saunas. In that case the question should not be should Christian women wear bikinis but should either sex visit a N. American or European beach. I would disagree with that conclusion but on those terms I would accept that a bikini is immodest in N. America, just as I would contend that board shorts and a t-shirt are immodest in Saudi Arabia, even for Christian women, not because of an absolute, but because of a moral standard guided by the culture. To say Saudi Arabia is not a Christian society misses the point. Under the local circumstance, swimwear for either sex that is acceptable in N. America becomes immodest.Kelsey's comments above are also particularly pertinent. An objectively modest' swimsuit, might be immodest' for a particular body type. IMO each person should reflect upon what motivates a choice of dress, with consideration to the setting.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Barbara Kay: Thank you so much for visiting this Hub and for your comments. I understand everything you wrote because my husband and I did the same thing as you. And, yes, I have to say I do give cheerfully.

      Since we no longer belong to a church, I still give to the Family Life Network because this is where I am so blessed spiritually. Since I have been doing this for seven years, I can't NOT tithe. Every unexpected penny that comes my way, God gets the ten percent, and I continue to record every unexpected blessing.

      For example, I never buy scratch-offs. However, quite often my husband or other members of my family insert them into birthday cards, or give me some at Christmas. This past Christmas I won $93.00 on scratch-offs.

      Then I received one this past Easter, and I won $20.00. Of course I gave the ten percent to God.

      I do not tithe to receive...however, God has kept His promise in the Bible with our health, safety, and our finances. I talked to the head of The Family Life network, and he told me that Malachi 3:10 is the ONLY verse in the Bible where God asks us to test HIM. That made such an impact on me, as Christians talk all the time about God testing THEM.

      If it's in the Bible, it's true...that is my personal belief.

      Thanks again for your visit and your comment. Blessings, Sparklea

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      The verse that goes along with this is "God loves a cheerful giver." If you can't do it cheerfully there isn't really a blessing . Thanks for an inspiring article.

      I've tithed in the past, but I am not right now. Since we moved, I've never found a church I felt just right about until just recently. I think I will start tithing again. Thanks.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Jossie: Thank you for visiting and reading this hub! I SO trust in God, and SO believe in tithing now...whereas I thought for a long time I could not afford to do so! I keep a record of the blessings I receive, and it's amazing how they add up. Keeping a record is a good reminder, because as time passes, sometimes I tend to forget...and I don't ever want to not remember all that God has done for me, and will continue to do!

      Blessings, and THANKS AGAIN. Sparklea :)

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      Jossie 5 years ago

      Thanks for your encouragement for tithing I also experience the abundant blessing of God since I start tithing....

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      ThussaysNanaMarie: THANK YOU for your positive input, so much appreciated! I don't mind your linking my hub to your hub at all! It is an honor. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • ThussaysNanaMarie profile image

      ThussaysNanaMarie 5 years ago from In my oyster

      I really enjoyed your hub. Thanks for writing it.Iam linking it to my hub as I did another. If you don't mind.

      Thanks so much for that.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Sold Out To Jesus: Thank you for taking time to read this. I think the subject of tithing is, and always will, bring about numerous discussions among Christians. All of us are different, God created us unique and to be that way. All I know is that God loves us, regardless. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Sold Out to Jesus profile image

      Sold Out to Jesus 6 years ago from Indiana

      I enjoyed reading your testimony. God is good all the time! God Bless

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      Sparklea 6 years ago

      I just answered glmclendon (above)

      TO Marcy Goodfleisch THANK YOU for your comment regarding my views on tithing as well as your votes. So much appreciated. I keep studying books on tithing which include many positive testimonies of people who are doing it. It's wonderful to know God WANTS to bless us! He is on our side! Blessings always, Sincerely, Sparklea :)

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      Sparklea 6 years ago

      Tithing can be somewhat scary, but now it has become a way of life for me. Malachi 3:10 is the only verse in the Bible where God asks us to TEST HIM! With all that is going on in the world, GOD remains faithful to his word! That is such a comfort and a blessing to me. THANK YOU for your comment and for all the wonderful hubs you are sharing. Your words are so needed. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • glmclendon profile image

      glmclendon 6 years ago

      I pay tithes and feel blessed todo so! I think one must grow to that point in life!

      Stay Well

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      What a beautiful testimony to faith and tithing, Sparklea! I've had confirmation tithing works, too, and I practice it as well. I admire you for turning to faith during your trials. Blessings to you! Voted up and beautiful