Q. I have a question regarding tithing. I get regular emails everyday from your website and I really enjoy reading your replies to the questions presented. I have read several questions that people have asked you regarding tithing, and I do agree with you on most occasions. Recently a woman asked you if she should make up tithes that she did not pay. Your response was that it was always intended to be an expression of gratitude. I do believe this too, but if you read further in Malachi it not only tells us to challenge God in tithing, but it also says in Malachi 3:11: “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.” So shouldn’t we tithe out of more than just gratitude? It is to keep Satan from attacking us unnecessarily too is it not?
A. It sounds a little like semantics, but while protection from Satan is one of the benefits we receive for tithing, it’s not a reason to do it. In other words it’s part of the effect of tithing, not part of the cause. When we give solely out of gratitude, not expecting anything in return, God is free to bless us. But when we give with an expectation of receiving we’re actually being greedy, not grateful, and the motive of our heart is wrong.
Think of how you express your love for others. You don’t do nice things for them because you expect something in return, you do it because you want to demonstrate your love for them. Then if they respond with an act of kindness toward you, you know it’s sincere. Everybody’s motives are pure.