The UnTithe | When Tithing Doesn’t Matter

by Tim on February 25, 2011

There are a lot of great articles about tithing and why you should or shouldn’t tithe. Here are a few that stick out immediately:

My Tithing Experience

Don’t Let Tithing Rules Rob You of the Joy of Giving

The Problem With Tithing Your Time

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Tithe

Did Jesus Teach Tithing? What Did Jesus Say About Giving?

In my search for tithing articles, I was hard-pressed to find an article about the UnTithe. What is the UnTithe you ask? It’s simply what’s left after you tithe or give away a portion of your income. How you handle the UnTithe is just as important as your motives when you tithe, and can even make the idea of tithing futile if left unaddressed.

Here’s what I mean – Whether you’re giving 1%, 10% or 50% of your income away, if you don’t have the right motives, why even give? I view the tithe as a way to support the church, minister to others and to show God that you’re faithful with His resources, but if we are mishandling the UnTithe, we have an issue to address.

So How Does Someone Mishandle the UnTithe?

Treating It As Your Own

When we give to God, we aren’t to say, “Ok God, here’s your allowance and the rest is mine.” We’re supposed to say, “God thank you for providing all I have. Use this to further your Kingdom.”

The remaining 90% (or whatever you have left after giving) is STILL God’s. Yep, it’s still His. When we have the idea that the rest is ours and we can do anything we want with it (including mismanage it), we’re fooling ourselves.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 24:1, The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Not Considering the Small Things

What does tithe matter when we’re not faithful with the rest of our worldly wealth? I know, that’s a strong statement, but if we’re not being good stewards of the UnTithe or with other aspects in our life, what does money matter? Paul says “If I give all I have to the poor…but have not love, I am nothing. “

Luke 16:10-12 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “

Putting Your Trust in The UnTithe

This is one of the most challenging and difficult aspects of managing the UnTithe. We’re called to be good stewards of the resources we’ve been given (see the above passage from Luke) but we’re also taught that we cannot serve two masters (God and money). The balance between trusting God and preparing financially for our future is a careful and ongoing challenge that takes time to get right.

Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

The Bible encourages us to be diligent regarding work and planning and is also full of instruction about balancing faith and planning ahead. It’s when we neglect these teachings that our UnTithe becomes our safety net and our faith in God weakens.

Have you ever given much thought to the UnTithe? Do you think it’s as important to manage the UnTithe as it is to be faithful in giving to further God’s Kingdom?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Derrik Hubbard, CFP February 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Tim,

I’ve never heard of the “untithe”!

But your points are a refreshing reminder. After tithing, I can get into the mindset of ownership with the rest.

Maybe someone else has a habit or a practice they can share of prayerfully dedicating what is left for His purposes?

Derrik Hubbard, CFP
http://www.thestewardshipsolution.com

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Tim @ Faith and Finance February 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Hey Derrik,

Yeah, I might have just coined a new phrase 🙂 These posts are directed towards myself too, as I try to manage ‘the rest’ in the best way possible. I think that when try to put kingdom matters above our own personal matters, knowing how to handle the rest of our money becomes easier to understand.

I’d love to hear someone share how they prayerfully approach handling what’s left after they tithe/give.

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Carol@inthetrenches February 27, 2011 at 1:06 am

Tim, Excellent article. Years ago Bill Gothard did a life changing popular series on financial stewardship that went through many of the basic principles of Biblical financial management. It changed my entire way of thinking and set a new foundation for me. The study is still available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Institute-Basic-Life-Principles-Research/dp/B000SB9K8O/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1298786079&sr=8-4
It not only gives the principles but is set up as a seminar for group activity. Once learning the basics I still pray over every financial decision and expense. Recognizing that it is not my money but rather money that has been entrusted to me by God I approach it in the same manner as I would in managing money for bosses I have had at my jobs. Yes, I have at times gotten side tracked but whatever God tells us to do He equips us to do well. He doesn’t leave us alone to figure it out on our own. And Personal Finance By the Book has been a wonderful resource to remind us. Joe and now you are doing an excellent job!

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Dave@50plusfinance February 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

You did it again, Joe. You rattled my noggin into thinking. Your subject matter in your blog, like always “goes where no man has gone before”. The “Untithe” wow.
You hit on point that we forget, after the tithe we think it’s our money. But again it’s not. It’s something to keep in mind when your spending the money, it’s quite different knowing your spending God’s money. Great post.

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