It has become popular to think of tithing as something of an investment – for every dollar we give to God, He will give us some kind of return.
There is Scripture that seems to support this. The Parable of the Sower is most often invoked, in connection with “seed giving”.
We are also reminded that we will be given as we give, and that God loves a cheerful giver.
I am afraid that the use of the Parable of the Sower can be disposed of quite easily; a careful reading indicates that the “seed” is the Word of God. To extend it to money is insupportable.
But the Scriptures on giving are quite plain, and they do promise a return – of some kind – for giving.
But tithing is not giving. The closest analogy is a tax that we owe God.
Giving beyond the tithe is a choice, and in making this choice, we may decide how much to give, and we choose our demeanor – cheerful or grudging.
But the in rendering the tithe, our feelings are unimportant. It is an obligation, and while a cheerful heart would surely be to our benefit, it is not a requirement.
The act, itself, is.
And it is not, therefore, any more of an investment that is an income tax. The tithe is a sacrifice.
Inferring, even slightly, that there is something material to be gained from the tithe is to undermine its purpose, and to defeat its intended meaning in our lives.