The word tithe means “tenth,” and it’s the practice of returning one-tenth of your income to the Lord through the local church. The tithe was practiced by ancient Israelites before they were ever called Jews; this collection included one-tenths of everything they grew or raised (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Although not commanded in the New Testament, tithing is a privilege in and of itself and is mentioned by Jesus in the gospels. When we tithe, it can be said that gratitude is shown from one generation to another for what God has already provided them. The ministry of the church and the great commission is funded through the faithful tithes and offerings of God’s people!
Whereas a tithe is a specific amount (10% of your income) that you give first, an offering is anything extra that you give beyond that. Sometimes Christians today think that what they give to their local church is a tithe when in reality it is an offering. Please know that God does not NEED our money. After all, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and needs nothing from us. What He desires, however, and what He values, is the heart that overflows with gratitude and thanksgiving to the God who saved us and who gives us all things, knowing our needs before we even ask (Matthew 6:8). After all He has done for us, how can we not have a heart that wants to give generously, willingly, and cheerfully in response to the love and grace that abound in Christ (2 Corinthians 9:6–8).