Should someone tithe on an inheritance?

Questions like this one typically come up because Christians are doing something (such as tithing) but they're not really sure why.

Frankly there is a huge amount of confusion and misunderstanding in the Church today regarding the subject of tithing and giving. So many Christians assume that the commands made in the Old Testament regarding tithing are expected of believers today. That is catagorically UNTRUE as the Church is clearly not under the Mosaic covenant, which God made uniquely and specfically with the nation of Israel.

In the Old Testament, the people of God were commanded to bring a tithe (literally 10%) of their earnings or the fruits of their labors to give to the Lord. I love to watch the expression on people's faces when I tell them that in the New Testament the amount isn't 10%, but rather 100%! Let me exlain that.

Under the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus Christ, believers have been purchased by His blood. That means we belong to Him--lock, stock and barrel. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and said: You are not your own; you were bought at a price. 1 Cor 6:19b-20a (NIV) So, if you've been purchased by the blood of Christ, that means He owns you and everything you have--100%.

Here's the crazy thing...rather than demading that 100%, instead God wants you to give according to what is in your heart to give. In other words, He leaves it completely up to you. Here's the New Testament teaching on giving:

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV)

So here's the first question to ask yourself: Are you giving because you think you have to...or because you want to? Remember, God doesn't want gifts that are motivated by any other compulsion than a cheerful heart. If you can't give cheerfully, don't give at all.

If you're not giving cheerfully, the question of whether or not to tithe on an inheritance is a moot one. Since you're already giving for the wrong reasons, just go ahead and keep your money.

If, however, you're giving because you cheerfully love to give, you probably wouldn't be asking this question in the first place, unless someone in your life was questioning your cheerful heart. In that case I will answer the question with a question: Why would you think of the income from an inheritance as being different from any other provision or blessing the Lord may give? Do you consider the income from your job differently just because you work for it? Then consider this: But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth... Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV). So you see, even the money you make at your job is a "gift" from the Lord. Is an inheritance any different?

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