In the Old Testament, there were actually many different tithes required under the law. A tithe is 10% of something. There was a tithe to the Levites, a tithe for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land.
After Jesus’ death and fulfillment of the law, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:2 that monetary gifts should be collected at the first of the week. Nowhere in the New Testament does it specifically state how much we are to give. But time and time again it does imply that we are to give: individually, regularly, methodically, and proportionally to our income.
The biggest problem most people have is that we want someone to tell us exactly how much God wants us to give, when to give it, and how it’s supposed to be given. I want to do exactly what I’m supposed to: no more, no less. I want to know what it takes to keep God happy and prevent Him from smiting me.
But God doesn’t really work that way. Giving for one person may mean giving 10%; that’s how much God has called them to give. Giving for another may mean giving 15% plus extra when they have excess. And still giving for another may mean giving a specific amount, no matter how the amount in their bank account fluctuates.
We are supposed to give. That much is evident. But so much more than that, we are supposed to give with a generous heart (2 Cor 9:7). And we are given the promise that God will take care of us. Does this mean we will have all the money we ever need? Not at all; this means God will provide what we need when we need it.
To me, the deeper question is “What’s the priority in your life?”
Our spending habits really do reflect what holds our heart’s attention. Do you give “the minimum requirement?” Are you spending “the minimum requirement” of your time with God? Is God only important to you a percentage of the time? No more. No less.
You don’t have to spend 90% of your time at the church and give till you are broke to show your devotion to God, but you do need to make it a priority to spend your time and money generously for the Kingdom of God.
Spending your time and money should be sacrificial, you should give until you have to trust God. Our trust in God should overwhelm our doubts in our ability.
Saying it is the easy part, doing it requires daily prayer and strong devotion.