Can You Tithe Your Time

tithe your time

To be a pro-tither has it challenges and battles. Most people say you’re putting others back “under the law,” you’re teaching an out of date concept, and that you’re just plain wrong.

At least that’s what I get…a lot!

But then there are those who believe in tithing and sacrificial giving. They believe IT IS relevant for the New Covenant and that it’s inherently right. But…they don’t have the money to tithe…and so they tithe with their time. To be honest, from one point it does make sense: if you don’t have the money tithe your time…God understands.

Right?

My answer: no.

This is up for debate (and I’m happy to discuss it in the comments) but the origin and definition of tithing has always centered around stuff. Through tithing we honor God with our substance. We don’t tithe our time because, as a believer, ALL our time belongs to Him:

“My times are in your hand…” (Psalms 31:15 ESV)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

“So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” (1 Peter 4:2 AMP)

So no I don’t agree with the concept of: “we have 24 hours, so God should get 2.4.” You can’t tithe your time, because ALL your time belongs to Him.

But maybe I’m wrong. What do you think? Can we give God a tithe of our time?

(Source: Time Magazine)

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I appreciate your willingness to stand strong on your convictions, Mike. You probably already know my stance, I’m with you. Time along with everything else belongs to God, but all through out the NT it is clear that even the struggling and persecuted churches gave to God to go to help the needs of others. It’s not legalism, it shows the true position of the heart and what we put our faith in.

    • Thank you Floyd for your stance. I’ve seen the thought of tithing your time become prevalent but I could never seem to find any Scriptural backing. And yes I am with you–giving is not legalism it IS a matter of the heart :)

  2. Mike, I strongly agree with you. I use to teach a class and one part of the class focused on tithes. I had people make the statement, they can tithe their time. I asked them, Are you truly giving 16.8 hours a week to God’s service. Not just coming to church. I didn’t get much response when I presented it this way. They used that as an excuse to not give financially. Tithing is a matter of the heart and not the wallet because it all belongs to God. After the class people gained a better understanding of the significance of the tithe for the church, individual and God.

    • Bernard, I have to be honest: I was really nervous about this post. The idea is really becoming more and more prevalent. You are so right: people use this as a HUGE excuse for not giving. I just never understood how someone could time their tithe to God when God owns our lives.

      That sounded like a pretty interesting class :)

  3. I was eating out with my small group last week and had a lady ask me if I tithe since I get paid by the church. I said yes, most definitely. And trying not to toot my horn too much I also wanted her to know that I went above the tithe because God has blessed me so much. It is because I believe in grace that I believe in giving an offering. God has never failed me yet in providing all my needs. Not my greeds (hence no Benz). :) Quite content with my Frontier.

    • Lol! No benz eh..? I don’t know…who knows what He has in store :)

      I’m glad you were able to toot your horn about giving. Hopefully, by doing that it would stir people to grace filled generosity.

      And I’m glad to meet another person who believes in the grace of tithing. ;)

  4. Touchy subject. Proud of you for bringing this up. I tend to agree with you and I’ve met many who disagree. When I encounter Christians who disagree with how I interpret the Bible, I ask God to help me know if they are open to really listening to HIM or if they only want to prove me (God) wrong.
    I know I’m not 100% right all the time and I’m open to learning from God and over the years He’s shown me areas I hadn’t fully understood before because I was open to listening and learning but sadly there are many who are not open to growth.
    When someone isn’t open to growth in Christ I remember 2 Tim 2:14, “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen”
    That verse helps me walk away.
    Thanks again for being willing to bring up touchy subjects.

    • Thanks TC!

      I’m not on big on my opinions when it comes to matters of spirituality…I want to know what the Word says. The reason I brought up this touchy subject was because I kept hearing it being used as and excuse. If the Word spoke about it I would be for it. But since it didn’t….

      I love your approach to dealing with people :)

      Thank you for keep stopping by!

  5. Great perspective, I just had a paradigm shift. Great Biblical back up! I’ve learned God blesses our tithe and time when we give it to Him. We reap what we harvest.

  6. Melanie Wilson says:

    Found you through Dan’s tweet. I don’t think our time excuses us from tithing money, but not because all our time belongs to God. All our money does too. Interesting post. Thanks!

  7. It seems to me the principle God has put in place in regards to our time is the Sabbath principle. Of course 1 day out of 7 is almost 15%. I agree that all our time is the Lord’s, but then again so is all our money and everything else we “own”. I think it is valid to set apart a certain amount of time daily, weekly, monthly and maybe even yearly that is dedicated to the Lord. This should however not replace the regular sacrificial giving financially or any other way.

    • Good points.

      What’s interesting Caleb, is that I (me personally) find it difficult to give God one day. I’m always under the assumption that all my time is His. So how do I give Him a day?

      This is not response to anything you’ve said…it’s a stigma I deal with.

      Alright I’m done venting :)

  8. Mike,

    I have recently become aware of what tithing is. I have many questions and I was hoping you could clarify them. I understand, and agree with your point that we should not replace monetary tithing with time tithing. My question is, should we tithe with our time also?

    If every day is a gift from God, just like all money and things that we receive are gifts from God, then ultimately all of our time as well as our money belongs to God. So just as with the monetary tithe we should return 10% of it to God, then should we return 2.4 hours a day to God?

    I recognize that we are supposed to keep the Sabbath holy (1/7 th of our time), and that all of our time belongs to God. I do not argue with that in anyway. But of the Sabbath I really only take about two hours for church. Also, our money belongs to God also but he still asks that we bring (not give) 10% of it to his church anyway.

    Also, just as with the monetary tithe, even though 10% goes to God that doesn’t mean that we should not use the other 90% in a holy manner. We must still act as responsible Christians with the remaining 90%. With our time I am not suggesting that we give 10% to God and spend the other 90% however we like. I think we should still act as responsible Christians with the other 90%.

    I guess my question ultimately breaks down to, what is tithing designed to address in the bible? Is it designed specifically to address money? Or is it designed to include all things that are gifts from God?. As far as I can see it that would include money and time because everything else in our lives are tied to either money or time.
    Thank you for your help,
    Lauren

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