Welcome to Day 6 of our 30 day celebration of the 5th Anniversary of
Giving Thanks: The Art of Tithing, by Paula Langguth Ryan – where we’re answering 30 questions about tithing!
Q. Who should we tithe to? How can we give our tithe to anyone we want? The Bible says: “Bring ye all the tithe to the storehouse, so there will be meat in my house, and prove me that I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there will not be room to receive it.” Malachi 3:10. Also Malachi 3:8-9 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”
A. Thank you for your letter regarding tithing. As you noted in the Bible, it says that we should bring our tithe to God’s storehouse. The storehouse was the place where the Levites, those who had been called by God to do God’s work, gathered together tithes of money and goods to distribute out again to others.
I’m not recommending that people give their tithe to “anyone they want,” by any means. I’m encouraging people to give their tithes to God’s storehouse: places that feed their spirit, places that inspire, uplift and enlighten them, as the Levites fed the spirits (physically and emotionally) of those they ministered to.
Too often, people give their tithes out of a sense of obligation, rather than out of a true understanding of tithing: giving thanks for what they have been given. Wherever you are spiritual fed is where you should give your tithe. This is God’s storehouse for your life. Hopefully this is your local church or temple, or mosque; these local spiritual organizations then pass along their tithes to local causes and provide much-needed community support.
Some people give their tithe only when they go to services, and the weeks they don’t go to services they don’t tithe. This is how we rob God. And then they wonder why they are not experiencing greater abundance in their lives!
Other people are afraid to tithe to people, thinking that it will be viewed as payment for services rendered, as opposed to an offering of thanksgiving. God wanted us to make a point of giving back 10% of what we have been given, freely and willingly and cheerfully, as thanks for the blessings we’d received. God is omnipresent: present everywhere, in everything. By tithing to where you are spiritually fed, whether that inspiration comes at church or somewhere else, you bless and thank God.
We are all ministers of one sort or another. We are all called to be of service and how we answer that call is up to each of us individually. God’s storehouse is the multitude of servants who are called to do his work. There are many people who will undoubtedly tithe to you (whatever name they give it) of their time, talents and treasures for you feeding their spirit in some way. We all do this. I just recommend doing it consciously so that we acknowledge God in all our tithes, whether we are receiving them or giving them.
My income comes from God. One of the channels of good that God uses to bring income to me is through the tithes and offerings of people who have been fed spiritually by the work that I do. And every day, I give thanks and tithe back to where I’ve been spiritually fed. It might be a church where I’ve just spoken, it might be my home church, it might be to a musician, it might be to a speaker, it might be to someone who just lightened my burden for me in a way that they never even knew.
Wherever you are spiritually fed, tithe there. Whatever you consider to be your storehouse, tithe there. Tithe there gratefully, with an outpouring of joy and thanksgiving and your tithe will be received and multiplied by God’s goodness. This is the blessing that God has promised to pour out upon you — to overflowing!
Peace and prosperity,
Paula Langguth Ryan
Spiritually fed by my work? Tithes and offerings are gratefully accepted and passed on to do additional good work in this world. You can easily tithe online by sending a tax-deductible tithe via paypal to my ministry at The Village Gathering. Just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org; or if you prefer to send your gift via mail:
Paula Langguth Ryan
The Village Gathering
1121 Annapolis Road, Suite 120
Odenton, MD 21113
Please remember our work in your legacy as well – or when you’re doing your tax planning! When making donations of appreciated stocks, property, and other large items, please list the recipient as The Village Gathering. Many thanks and richest blessings, as my colleague Rev. Catherine Ponder would say!