“Throughout my 35 years of ministry, I’ve seen 10 common reasons that church people give for not tithing.”
Tithing is a spiritual discipline many Christians practice. In its simplest form, it means giving back to God 10 percent of what you make. I’ve practiced it for years as a regular part of my giving. I tithe ‘plus’ to my local church and I give to other causes on top of that.
However, throughout my 35 years of ministry, I’ve seen 10 common reasons that church people give for not tithing. I list them below with a counter point for each.
1. “It’s all mine anyway. Why should I give?”
Counter Point (CP): Everything we own is actually God’s (Ps. 50:10, Ps. 24:1).
2. “I give elsewhere.”
This is the person who counts his giving to secular causes, his time or paying for his child’s Christian school tuition as his tithe.
CP: Do causes around the purposes of God get the lion’s share of your giving?
3. “Tithing is not in the New Testament.”
This is one of the most common.
CP: When Jesus fulfilled the law, he didn’t revise spirituality downward.
4. “God will provide through other people.”
This person believes that other people will give to support the cause of Christ in their church.
CP: God chose to release his resources through all believers.
5. “My gifts don’t really count.”
This person thinks that because she can’t give much, her giving really doesn’t matter.
CP: Don’t minimize the size of any gift (recall the story of the poor widow in Mark 12:41-44).
6. “I don’t trust preachers.”
This is understandable due to the few high profile ministers who misuse God’s money.
CP: If you lead a church, make sure you instill the highest standards of stewardship and accountability.
7. “I only give to projects I like.”
This is the control freak who only gives to projects he or she can designate funds to. Some people in this category even hold back their giving in their church because they haven’t gotten their way.
CP: Trust your church leadership to wisely manage God’s money.
8. “I have no control over my finances. My husband/wife does.”
In this case (and it’s almost always a wife in this position), her husband controls the finances, and although the wife wants to give, he prohibits it.
CP: Rest in the Lord. He knows your heart.
9. “I will tithe when I can afford it.”
Research shows that contrary to what we might assume, the more money a person makes, the less percentage they give.
CP: If you wait you probably never will.
10. “I’m afraid to.”
These people honestly fear what might happen to them or their family if they give.
CP: Step out in faith knowing that God promises to meet your needs.
What reasons have you heard people use to justify not giving or tithing?
Charles Stone is the senior pastor of West Park Church in London, Ontario, Canada, the founder of StoneWell Ministries and the author of several books, including most recently Brain-Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry. This post was originally published on CharlesStone.com.