The Bible teaches that financial giving is an important aspect of a believer’s devotion to God. The OT saints were required to pay their tithes. Tithe means “one-tenth” or “10%” of your income. Israel in the OT had a theocratic form of government. The primary one-tenth of a person’s income was basically income tax collected in order to run the nation. Another tithe was collected to fund the national celebration of feasts. A third tithe was collected to be distributed to the poor. So anywhere between 23-28% of a citizen’s income was going to the nation in order to run the theocratic system. Anything over and above this percentage would become what you wanted to give as a willful offering to the LORD.
Since we in the New Testament era are not part of a theocracy, tithing is not directly applicable to us, but the principles of giving are for us. What the New Testament teaches is that in addition to the mandatory tax payments to our local governments, we are to be cheerful givers in the Church. This money ought to be used to support those who labor in the word (first your local pastors and then those outside if possible), support the poor and widows within the church, support missionaries, support gospel ministries, etc.
Giving is not an accounting issue, it is always a heart issue. The LORD desires that you would honor Him with your wealth. It is not just the 10% that belongs to the LORD, but your entire wealth and your existence is God’s property. We are just given the privilege to give back to God what already belongs to Him. Giving 10% of your income is a good standard to maintain but the percentage can vary depending on your financial situation. As the LORD leads and burdens your heart, and depending on the pressings situations in the local church ministry, one ought to develop the practice of cheerful giving. It ultimately has to be done in faith and with thanksgiving. The Bible promises blessing for cheerful generous givers, but these blessings are not necessarily earthly and material.
Proverbs 3:9; Matthew 6:19-21; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 6:38; Luke 12:33-34; Luke 16:9; 2 Corinthians 8:7-8; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; 1 Timothy 6:17-19