This week Tim Challies wrote two articles (one and two) that answer the four most common questions about Biblical giving. Given that the articles are short, there is not enough space to be comprehesive and cover every nuance of the questions, but they serve as a good starting point to frame your thinking about the Biblical answers.
- Do I Have to Give? Yes, everything is God’s. He wants the firstfruits. In the Old Testament this is the tithe. In the New Testament, giving is modeled in many places
- How Am I to Give? (What should my attitude be?) Giving is an act of worship. Gifts should be given cheerfully, freely and not under compulsion
- Where Am I to Give? Our responsibility is first to Christians, then to non-Christians. It begins with family, then the local church and extends outward. The church is responsible for identifying needs, collecting funds and distributing them. Giving is not modeled in the New Testament as to individuals
- How Much Do I Give? Giving should be in accordance to what we’ve been given, so wealthier people should contribute more. Giving should be costly, so that we sacrifice something for others. The principle of a tithe is not repeated in the New Testament, but Jesus always raised the standard of the Old Testament, so it should be considered a starting point
If you’d like to study this topic in more detail, consider reading Randy Alcorn’s Money, Possessions and Eternity. For more information on the topic of tithing see Is Tithing Biblical?