The Frugal Catholic: “Tithing” by Martha Wild King– October 4, 2009

God provided so we could adopt our 5th

In our modern day, “tithing” seems like an ancient word which doesn’t apply to our tight finances.  Encarta World English Dictionary defines it thus: 1. Paying of tithes: the assessing or paying of tithes    2. one tenth: one tenth part of something

What Encarta doesn’t address is the importance of tithing to one’s overall financial wellness, and also what God and The Church have to say about it; as well as,  what those who have practiced it have found that paying of tithes has given them.

Let’s start with what God and The Church have to say about tithing.  The tithe is the first ten percent of our income, and this belongs to the Lord.  Offerings are above and beyond the tithe.  In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, God encourages us to give bountifully as well as cheerfully, for “God loves a cheerful giver.” NAB

The tithe has a vital function not only for The Church but also for the giver.  Our ten percent not only supports The Church ministries, but it also helps us learn to fear The Lord.  God has promised to give wisdom and blessing to those who do fear Him.  Deuteronomy 14:22-23 states, “Each year you shall tithe all the produce that grows in the field you have sown; then in the place which the Lord, your God, chooses as the dwelling place of his name you shall eat in his presence your tithe of the grain, wine and oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, that you may learn always to fear the Lord, your God.” NAB

For The Frugal Catholic, the tithe teaches priorities.  If we give God that first ten percent, He lets us have the other ninety percent to use as we need, and He blesses it.  Proverbs 3: 9-10 expounds on this thought.  “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with  first fruits of all your produce; then will your barns  be filled with grain, with new wine your vats will overflow.” NAB  Truthfully, if you don’t give that ten percent to God right off the top, then the enemy will gobble it up, and the other ninety percent will disappear too.  One such example is debt.  Debt itself is often a witness that tithing is not taking place.  It should therefore be a motivation to begin tithing in order to allow God to show His power in one’s finances.

Now what about those who have practiced tithing?  What do they say?  Jill Moore of South Carolina states, “Tithing is very important.  I suggest have the sum withdrawn automatically so that you aren’t tempted to spend it.”  Adrienne Oleson of California adds, “The Lords blesses us with so much.  It’s the least we can do to give back to Him in a small way.  I believe that tithing is more than just money.  I believe giving to the Lord should be in total your time, your heart, your mind, your life, your everything.”  Doris Schroeder of Washington confirms, “I consider tithing a privilege and a possibility to share with others.  Tithing is the way to opening the door to God’s blessings, and it gives us the assurance of His protection.  If you don’t tithe, you’ll lose the money in other ways and wonder why bad things happen.”  And finally Dixie Moore in Bainbridge Island WA remarks, “Tithing is an expression of a Christian.  Simply take ten percent off each paycheck and put it into a special account.  We then have money to give to the church and missions.  By doing it that way, we are not deciding between food or gas but giving it to the church.

For The Frugal Catholic, tithing is the best investment we can make with our money.  I challenge you to try it.  God most certainly does as Malachi 3:10 exhorts, where He says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me in this, says the Lord of hosts:  Shall I not open for you the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing upon you without measure?” NAB