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"What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things." Luke 11:42

Jesus want us to help the widow, poor and support the community not just from our 10%. Legalism of this sort assumes that people will only know we follow God if we do all these things associated with rules and regulations. Instead, Jesus said that the real mark of a believer is the love they have for others in God’s family.

Jesus spoke harshly here, yet this was not the language of personal irritation but of divine warning and condemnation. He seems to speak in the tone and rhythm of the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 5:8-23, Habakkuk 2:6-19).

The Pharisees were so careful in their outward obedience that they would literally tithe from their herb gardens, counting out seeds and leaves, and giving a tenth of each to God.

Jesus did not say that their tithing was wrong. Instead, What was wrong was what they did not do – leaving the others undone. Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: Literally, the word “hypocrites” refers to an actor, someone playing a part. Jesus exposed the corruption that was covered by the spiritual image of the scribes and Pharisees.

Tithing is often a very misunderstood spiritual concept. You can find Christian teaching that’s all over the map when it comes to the tithe. Some people say that tithing is just an Old Testament principle that doesn’t apply to us today in the New Covenant. On the other extreme there are people that say God punishes people today who don’t tithe. I’ve actually heard sermons where preachers said things like, “If you don’t tithe God will take it from you in doctors bills and car repairs.”

Neither of these extreme views line up with scripture.

Instead, when we choose to tithe from our own free will, it releases God to be able to actively act on our behalf in two very specific ways. He can then open up additional heavenly blessings into our lives and our finances. And he can act on our behalf to prohibit the devourer from wasting away our finances.

You absolutely do not have to tithe. God will still love you just as much whether you tithe or not.

But if you know the benefits God promises if you do tithe, why would you not want to enjoy those extra blessings?

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