This side of the cross, Christians are called to radical generosity. It's not about percentages, it's about a completely yielded life to Jesus in all areas—finances included. Before Jesus came and established the New Covenant, tithing was the way that the nation of Israel met the needs of its priestly service (the tribe of Levi, set apart by God for work in the temple). At its root, this familiar Old Testament word tithe (meaning "tenth") doesn't apply today.
For some, 10 percent is a real stretch. For others, it's a cop-out. What we do know is that all Christians, whether rich or poor, are called to radical giving. If we reduce our giving to a mere percentage of income, we miss God's heart for giving completely.
Think of Mary in John chapter 12. She poured out a year's wages of costly perfume on Jesus' feet. Or what about Peter? He dropped his nets and left the life of a fisherman to follow Jesus (Mark 1). And Zacchaeus (Luke 19)—he felt led to give half of every thing he had to the poor in obedience to Jesus. Three cases, three different people of various means: a year's wages (Mary), a lifetime of earnings (Peter) and half of everything (Zacchaeus). They all have one thing in common—they gave radically as they were led.
This is the call for all of us, to take on the call of radical giving. What does that mean in dollars and cents? Only God can tell you. What does radical giving look like in your life?
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