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How Much Should I Give?

Under the Old Covenant law of ancient Israel an annual “tithe” was required for the support of the temple and its staff. A tithe was one tenth of the increase in produce, flocks and herds. In addition, freewill offerings were to be given.

Christians are under the New Covenant which has no hard and fast rule about giving although the tithe of the Old Testament is a helpful guide to many believers. The New Testament is far more radical because it calls on us to be generous and sacrificial in our giving. We see Jesus commend the widow who gave a few coins that came out of money she needed to live on. The others present were not commended despite giving large sums because they gave out of their surplus (Mark 12:41-44).

So, less than 10% may be quite generous for some whereas for others a greater percentage might not be generous at all.

How much is generous is to be determined by each believer – no one else can tell us how much to give. Paul is clear in his second letter to the Corinthians that the believer should “give as he has decided in his heart” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

As children of the living God, who seek to worship and honour Him, it is appropriate that we all regularly re-examine our giving. Circumstances change and with growing wealth what may have been generous once may no longer be the case.