Though many people have the mistaken idea that tithing is about helping their church meet its budget, tithing is really for the benefit of the giver. Tithing is an essential spiritual practice that can result in tremendous spiritual growth.
Perhaps the reason for this is found in the power our wealth can have over us. For many people, trusting God with their finances is the most difficult part of the Christian life. It is the one area where they do not want to give up control.
But tithing is not about money management; it’s about not letting money manage you. When your possessions possess you, they are not going to let you grow nor allow you to experience everything God has planned for you. Your spiritual growth will be stunted.
But as soon as that hold your wealth has on you is broken, you will be free to grow in the grace of God. And because of this, you can reach new depths in your relationship with Him.
Jesus talked about this very thing. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, NIV).
Imagine a helium-filled heart-shaped balloon attached by a ribbon to a stack of hundred dollar bills. How would you carry it? Would you grab the balloon and drag the money on the floor behind you? No, you would more likely carry the money and allow the balloon to follow along behind.
Likewise, your heart follows your treasure. If you want to grow spiritually—if you want your heart to be fully devoted to Jesus Christ—then it’s only going to happen as you choose to lead with your treasure.
Tithing is about spiritual growth more than anything else. It’s not about being legalistic; it’s about growing spiritually. You are asked to tithe because it benefits you.
The truth is, God does not need your money. But knowing the hold that money can have on a person, He asks you to give to Him in order to break that hold. He wants to teach us the wisdom of the words from Hebrews: “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5, NLT).
If you hope to grow spiritually and become all God intends for you to be, then you need to learn to honor God with your money.