“Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else”
(2 Corinthians 9:13).
When it comes to the subject of tithing, you’d find people ask the wrong question all the time, namely: “Is it commanded for the New Testament believer to tithe?” They figure that if the answer to the question is no, then they shouldn’t Tithe. That however is a shallow approach for a believer. The popular alternative to Tithing has been: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give” (2 Cor 9:7). As good as that is, there are several crucial things also, to be taken into cognizance.
First, we need to see how important our giving as believers is. Paul in the same chapter as the text quoted above says;
2 Corinthians 9:13 NIV
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
Salient expressions are used here. Generosity is called an obedience that accompanies our confession of the gospel of Christ. Meaning, you should be able to tell a believer’s convictions from the way he spends his money. We demonstrate our faith in the gospel when we give to God and his people. Every true believer will put his money where his faith is. Now, this is serious. It’s called a service to which we are to prove ourselves.
Earlier, Paul had also said: “I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love”. 2 Cor 8:8
You see the point? This for us is not a matter of commandment. It’s a matter of nature. It’s a matter of love. I demonstrate the sincerity of my love for God and His people when I give. If a believer is not found to be a giver, and regularly, people ought to be amazed and suspicious.
This is why the subject of giving shouldn’t be regulated merely to: “As you purpose in your heart, give.” That will be assuming that all believers give as they ought to. You see, generosity is a training we are to receive in Christ. Paul addresses this as well;
2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
In other words, I’m glad you speak in diverse kinds of tongues, and you know the epistles by heart even in Greek language. I’m glad you’re so diligent you always the first to arrive when we assembly together, but see that you abound in this grace of giving also. Learn to give!