Wow…”sex and tithing.” That’s probably the most interesting blog post title I’ve ever had, but I didn’t do it just for the sake of being provocative or scandalous. In fact, I wasn’t planning on writing this at all, but as it turns out, God had a different plan.
I’ve been corresponding back and forth on facebook with a new Christian who has a all kinds of questions about the faith. I think that’s how it’s supposed to be…as the Holy Spirit gives us a hunger for more of God’s Word (The Bible), we’re going to have a lot of questions along the way. Now, I certainly don’t pretend to be the one with all the answers, but I do know where to find all the answers, so I responded to today’s questions by doing my best to find a concise answer in Scripture. Below are the questions and my responses.
“What does the Bible have to say about Tithing? Does God really expect us to give 10% of our income even when we’re struggling to make ends meet? And what about SEX? Is it really wrong for people to have sex when they’re not married even though it seems like almost everybody is doing it?”
1. Great questions! The Bible talks about tithing (giving a tenth of your income to God’s work) in many places. In Malachi chapter 3 verses 10-12 God actually challenges us to “Test Him” in this area of lives and says He will respond by blessing us. Jesus taught that our hearts will follow our “treasure”. In other words, you could tell what I truly value just by looking at my checkbook and credit card statements. God wants our whole heart, and He wants us to value people and ministry over “stuff.” He uses our giving as a way to increase our faith, decrease our materialism, further the work of the church and validate the sincerity of our faith to a materialistic, unbelieving world. God will use your generosity to bless others and to bring more joy and peace into your own life.
2. The Bible has a lot to say on sex. Sex is a powerful gift created by God but it is dangerous and destructive when used improperly. Think of it like fire in your fireplace at home. As long as the fire stays in the fireplace, it provides heat and light to the house. If you spread that same fire around the whole house, you’ll end up with total destruction! In the same way, God intended sex to remain within the context of marriage. Outside of that, it will always cause some level of destruction. Ephesians says “among you, there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality.” God’s guidelines don’t exist to steal your fun but to maximize your peace and joy. Trust God. He desires to give you His very best.
The Bible has a lot more to say on each of these subjects and I encourage you to explore Scripture and continue to learn God’s perfect plans for you. God’s plans aren’t always consistent with the world’s values, but His plans are always better! Trust Him in all areas of your life and not only will He change your thinking in positive ways, He will change your life and empower you to change the world.