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Tithing vs Giving: What's the Difference?
IN THE BEGINNING
In the beginning of the creation of the earth, GOD communicated directly with the ones he created. Communion was a part of the plan for humanity. Because of the fall of Man, there created a need for men to have rules. When the ten commandments were given, they had a purpose. Many felt it placed an undue burden on the people, some received it with joy, but others felt it held no place for them. Man had a need to be guided as to what he was to do. GOD placed upon the people a requirement to sow 10% of their possessions, which at that time was grain, animals, and fruit in honor to him. In Malachi 3:8-12 the Lord ask, "Will a man rob GOD?", and he(GOD) answers with, "In tithes and offerings." Then GOD instruct his people to "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in my house." This process was indeed the example of you honor me with the first and I'll make sure that all your needs, are met beyond what you can imagine or think.
At first, the people understood this process and was content with it, but then, we know man; Men have a way of giving in to their sin nature which over time develop into greed, pride, and the lusts of flesh. Man got the bright idea that they could extort money from people using this verse and it became a burden or in some cases, shame to the people who could not afford to provide the 10%. The process of tithing was the first fruits of your increase, and about honor, worship, and obedience to GOD's ordinance. GOD never had a need of what we had, but wanted to know who would be obedient to his commands, who really appreciated him for who he was(the creator of ALL things!), and acknowledgement for what he had provided for mankind. Which everything belongs to the Lord and he freely distributes to those without any perspective persons'.
Another purpose of the tithes, was to take care of the Levites, the stranger, the orphans, and the widows. This concept even took a turn for the worse. People, in the process, have become detached from humanity, basing their contributions to others' on how they feel and what they have experienced. Once again, just tell me where to send or provide the help, and leave me out of the details has evolved into hands free giving!! They don't make the connection that people need more than a donation, they need compassion, understanding, belonging, and LOVE, all the traits of a human being and not a number.
When JESUS walked the earth, man had so distorted the issue of tithes and offerings, that through him, the burden, shame, and confusion would be lifted. JESUS said he didn't come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. If JESUS paid it all, did it all, and finished it all, then he gave us a more sure way to tithing and offerings. He said the more you give, the more it shall be given unto you. Giving is up to the person to give or not, and the amount is up to them. What, when, where, and why you give is determined by what's really in your heart. The Bible states that the issues of life flow from the heart. So, out of the abundance of the heart, a person should give. We have place more importance on the monetary aspect of giving, and have forgotten that, to do GOD's work, requires more of ourselves than materialistic things.
Today, people make other people feel inadequate for not paying their tithes because they have placed a standard on what tithing entails. It was never meant to honor the church, it was to honor GOD! The Bible say that what we do in secret, GOD will reward openly. If you choose to honor GOD by taking care of the less fortunate, the ones who have no father or mother, or the ones that are depressed, hurt, and neglected, that should be your choice. Why make such a simple concept more difficult than what it was meant to be? That's why JESUS rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees like he did and called them hypocrites, because their religious authority and status became the focus of attention more so than GOD who deserved the honor, glory,status and authority. This unjust standard allowed other people to feel like they've done their duty by only paying their tithes and felt no obligation to do anything more for the people who were suffering, and had abandon what the Lord had told them to take care of the widow, stranger, and the orphans.
The Point Is!
So, let me make it clear, I'm not advocating that people should not pay their tithes to the church, but simply making the point that, this should not be the only form of giving that a person does. It's the one sided definition of tithing that needs to be expounded on and not limited to the church, and definitely not just pertaining to a monetary aspect, but, instead, should be told about the benefits of GIVING to others, such as your time, a listening ear, and your service, but as JESUS stated in the Beatitudes. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."LUKE 6:38 KJV
Meaning the more you give from the heart, the more shall you receive, the more servitude you offer, the same will you be served, the more comfort you provide the more comfort shall be provided to you and "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.2 COR 9:7 KJV The overall point is, someone is going to need help at some time or another in life from somebody. Life can happen to anyone at any given time. Up today, down tomorrow. The world has truly become the ME generation. If it doesn't profit me, help me, do for me, acknowledge me, then there's no room for the we!!! We really could make a huge difference in this world if we try to imagine what it feel like to not have a home, it doesn't have to be fancy, but someplace to lay ones' head and call home, food to eat, clean drinkable water, clothes on your back, and a little money in your pocket. Try to be that somebody for someone TODAY!!