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TITHING: A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE BEYOND CHRISTIANITY’S: By Dr. Priscilla Otuya

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TITHING: A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE BEYOND CHRISTIANITY’S: By Dr. Priscilla Otuya

Introduction:

Tithing, often associated with Christian teachings, is fundamentally a universal principle of life. Through personal revelation and scriptural insights, we understand that tithing is not confined to a religious doctrine but is a timeless principle ordained by God to ensure provision and blessings. This write-up explores the purpose and significance of tithing, rooted in Biblical references, and underscores its broader application beyond religious boundaries.

Definition of Tithing:

Tithing is the practice of giving a tenth portion of one’s income or produce as an offering. This principle is deeply embedded in various religious texts, particularly within the Bible, where it is presented as an act of obedience and trust in God’s provision. It is a tangible expression of prioritizing God in one’s life, reflecting the Greatest Commandment to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and might.

Personal Revelation on Tithing:

In seeking divine guidance on tithing, an insightful revelation was received. God instructed us to take a tuber of yam and cut a portion. The act of cutting a tenth part, the head of the yam, symbolized the principle of sowing and reaping. This part, often replanted, signifies that the portion given or dedicated to God is not lost but multiplies. This illustrates that tithing, akin to planting seeds, brings forth greater returns, reinforcing that it is a principle of life ordained by God, applicable to anyone who practices it.

PURPOSE OF TITHING

Provision for the Poor and Needy:

Scriptural Basis: “At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 14:28 – 29)

Insight: Tithing ensures that the vulnerable in society, such as widows, orphans, and strangers, are provided for, embodying God’s care and justice for all people.

Support for God’s Dedicated Servants:

Scriptural Basis: “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.” (Numbers 18: 21)

Insight: In biblical times, those who dedicated their lives to God’s service, such as the Levites, relied on tithes for their sustenance. Today, this principle extends to supporting those who are fully devoted to spiritual duties, ensuring they are not distracted by material needs.

Ensuring Provision in God’s House:

Scriptural Basis: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3: 10)

Insight: Tithing is intended to ensure that there is provision in God’s house to carry out His work and support those in need. It reflects a communal responsibility to sustain the faith community and its missions.

Misuse of Tithing:

While tithing has been misappropriated by some religious leaders for personal gain, this does not negate its divine purpose. Tithing is meant to provide for the needy and support God’s work, not for extravagant expenses.

Tithing and the Greatest Commandment:

Tithing is intrinsically linked to the Greatest Commandment, which is to love God wholeheartedly.

Scriptural Basis: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22: 37)

Insight: Tithing is a practical demonstration of putting God first, embodying the command to love Him above all. It reflects a heart devoted to God, willing to honor Him with one’s resources.

JESUS and TITHING:

Jesus acknowledged the practice of tithing but emphasized justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

Scriptural Basis: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23: 23)

Insight: Jesus did not abolish tithing but fulfilled the law, stressing the importance of the heart behind the act. Tithing should be coupled with righteous living.

Conclusion:

Tithing transcends religious boundaries, rooted in the principle of sowing and reaping ordained by God. It is a divine practice designed to ensure provision for the needy, support for dedicated servants, and sustenance for God’s work. True tithing reflects a heart that honors and prioritizes God, aligning with the Greatest Commandment to love God fully. Despite misuse by some, the essence of tithing remains a powerful, God-ordained principle of life.

Bishop Dr. (Mrs.) Priscilla Otuya is the Presiding Bishop, House of Regents Ministries, and the President,

United Gospel Churches Association of Nigeria. (UGCAN)

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