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Tithing Is Not TABOO: Generosity Is Better Than Greed

Tithing is the spiritual practice of honoring God by giving the first tenth of your entire income to your local church. Tithing is not taboo, meaning it is not banned, prohibited or forbidden. Your church may not emphasize the importance of tithing from your entire income, but it is a very important part of the Christian life.

Generosity is a lifestyle that gives freely and lives openhandedly. Generosity is the amount beyond the first tenth you give to your church. I can assure you that generosity is better than greed.

Greed is an insatiable desire for more. Greed is about grasping, craving, acquiring and hoarding, while generosity is about giving, charity, blessing and handing.

Greed Is Not Godly

Christians ignore and mock God’s Word when they do not honor God with giving at least the first tenth of their entire income to their local church. They try to rationalize or even justify it, and some even attempt to explain it away biblically. I have never discovered anyone who practices tithing and generosity try to explain why tithing and generosity are not biblical.

Somehow, we must grow in our faith enough to understand that when we do not give biblically by both tithing and practicing generosity, we are not walking in godliness. Greed is not godly.

No One Is Exempt From Tithing and Generosity

Pastors, staff members, elders, deacons, lay leaders and all Christians are not exempt from tithing and generosity. In fact, when we do not practice giving the first tenth of our income and enter into the sphere of generosity, we are practicing and choosing greed.

Greed is like a rattlesnake that many of us want to snuggle up with in our hearts. While on a run last week, I ran upon a Copperhead snake lying right beside the curb. I did not cuddle with it; in fact, I ran with a chill up my spine for the rest of the week.

Greed is not about how much a person has or does not have. Greed is a matter of the heart. I have seen greed exist in the lives of those who have little and I have seen it exist in the lives of those who are overwhelmed with wealth. Nice things are not wrong until you violate God’s principles of giving in order to attain them.

There Is Only One Way to Avoid Greed

There is only one way those with much or those with little avoid greed: Giving the first 10 percent of their entire income to their local church and moving into the sphere of practicing generosity. They completely embrace a lifestyle of giving freely and living openhandedly.

Pastor James MacDonald is correct when he says that giving the first tenth of all God has given to you is the on ramp to the highway called generosity. Wherever you are in your life educationally, vocationally or financially, ALL BLESSINGS flood the person and family that get on this on ramp that leads to the highway called generosity. 

Living on 90 percent with God involved will go much further than living on 100 percent without God involved.

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Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 37 years and was recently elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. His experience, wisdom and passion for God make him a powerful proclaimer of God’s Word. He teaches principles from the Bible that encourage and uplift thousands of people all over the world via TV, Internet, podcasts, radio, speaking engagements and books.