Can I be excused from paying the tithes?
You are supposed to pay tithes irrespective of your financial situation. Here I would like to put before you some important observations which are:
1. Whoever pays his tithes when he himself is in need, will have a greater reward from God. Because by doing so he is putting others before himself, unlike the person who pays but is comfortably off and can well afford it, who does not feel that he is forgoing any of his necessities in order to supply the needs of another.
We observe that the Lord Jesus Christ praised the poor widow who paid the two small copper coins, and said that she had put more than all the others into the temple treasury because: “for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”(Luke 21:4) “she…. put in all that she had ” (Mark 12:44).
You too should become accustomed to giving, even though you are in need, whether you give of your money, time or health. The second remark I would like to make is:
2. When you give, even though you are in need yourself, God blesses whatever you have.
How often the needy person says: ‘If all my money and all my salary aren’t enough for me, whatever would happen if I also paid a tithe, a tenth of my income?! would the nine tenths be enough for me?!’ But at this point I would like to say to you:
The nine-tenths with a blessing, is more than the whole lot without blessing!
Whenever you give, God blesses the little which remains, and makes it much more than all the money without the blessing of the tithes. He compensates you with more; and what else? The effectiveness of that money will be blessed. This comes in contrast to the many people who have wealth in abundance and yet feel as if they do not have enough because their wealth has no blessing.
The third observation which I would like to make is that:
3. God does not need our tithes, but He trains us and blesses us through them.
He trains us to give, and to love others, and to renounce money. He also trains us to have faith: faith in God’s blessing of the small portion…
God is able to cater for all the needs of the entire world, without our paying anything. He is the One who satisfies all, from out of His good gifts, but He wants us to share in the act of charity, so that we may partake of the blessing of this act.
4. I know your financial circumstances. But put God to the test.
The general rule is: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God. ” (Matt. 4:7), But the tithes are the one exception, and about this our Sovereign Lord said: “Bring all the tithes… Prove Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts ‘ If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it (Mal. 3:10).
Thus test and see how God will bless your property, and see how you will not go needy, but on the contrary God will provide you with more and more.
Do not, however, pay the tithes merely with the objective of getting more and more…
For this is not the right spiritual attitude for giving. Just pay them even if you are going through a time of increased need yourself. For when God sees the sincerity of your heart when it comes to giving, along with your love for others, then He will open the floodgates of heaven as He has promised.
Hence, pay them and say: ‘Who am I, Lord, that You allow me to share in the needs of Your children! ‘ “Everything comes from You… it comes from Your hand, and all of it belongs to You.” (1 Chr. 29:14-19) ‘So bless what little is left, 0 Lord, and let us want for nothing.’
Another point I would like to raise is:
5. The tithes which you do not pay are considered to be your wrongful possession.
It is money which is wrongfully yours because you have wronged its rightful owners – the poor who deserve it. It is not your money for you to keep. It is the Lord’s property ,and you have stolen from Him, thus God considers it as unlawful possession.
See what the Divine Inspiration says in the Book of the prophet Malachi: “says the Lord of hosts… Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”.’ (Mal. 3:7-8). Thus the Lord says:
“Make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon. (Luke 16:9).
What does this phrase mean then? it means:
6. With the money of the tithes which you have kept back for yourselves which has become an unlawful possession since you wronged the poor by not giving it to them… with this money make friends for yourselves who will pray for you, and to whose prayers God will respond. Just as you saved them from their money problems when you paid the tithes, God will also rescue you from your financial problems…
A final word remains which I would like to say to you which is:
7. The tithes which you did not pay last year you still owe!
You are supposed to pay them, even if it is by instalment.