Question: Do Christians have to give God some of the money we earn? Will He punish us if we don’t?
Answer: Your question reveals our true human mindset – it’s OUR money, and we want to use it in ways that benefit ourselves. That thinking shows we need a change of heart about where the money really comes from and why we are receiving it.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. I Timothy 6:7
Look around you. Everything you have in your possession right now is a gift from God, especially your money. Every single bit of it actually belongs to God, and He sends it to you to manage as He directs. So, if you are only the manager, shouldn’t you ask God, your boss, how to properly manage it? Do you trust Him enough to allow Him to lead you?
The principle of tithing, or giving back to God’s work from money you receive, began with Adam and Eve’s children. God told Cain and Abel to give Him the first part of their farming income of animals to show appreciation for how He provided for them. Later, Abraham gave a tenth, and his grandson Jacob also promised God offerings to thank Him for His help and protection. Later, God told Moses to command the Israelites to give ten percent of their earnings to the temple priests to provide their salaries.
Today, people give to churches, mission organizations, and other charities that further God’s truths as one way they thank God for the blessings He allows them to have. Giving is NOT paying God back so that He won’t be angry with you! Remember, the money you have is a gift from God, not a loan. Tithing or giving offerings are gifts you give back to God to show your thankfulness for all He has done. Your attitude of love for Him, not one of obligation, makes your sacrifice acceptable to God.
So let everyone give as his heart leads him. Don’t give because you think you have to. That would be giving for the wrong reason and with a bad attitude. God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
The Bible tells us that God promises great rewards to us when we believe His words and act on them in obedience. He knows very well how important and vital money is in our lives, and whether we give this to Him, rather than keeping it all, is a true test of our trust in Him. Rewards are great, but even greater is the joy and peace in our hearts because we pleased God.
Bring your tithes and offerings because you know that this helps support My workers. Prove My promise to you now, says the Lord. When you give to My work, watch how I open the windows of heaven and pour out such great blessings to you that you will not have enough room for it. Malachi 3:10
Will you pass the test by giving to His work in the world? When you leave this world and immediately meet Jesus face-to-face, will He say this? “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in handling this small amount I sent you, so now I will give you more joyous responsibilities. You did your job well and will become my partner.” (Matthew 25:21)