If I give 10%, I will be stretched really really thin. Does God want that?
Ultimately, the question should not be “Do I have to give 10%?” but instead “Why do I want to give less than 10%?” God accused the Israelites of “robbing” him (Malachi 3) when they failed to bring in a full tithe and this is not an accusation we want levied against us. However, if you are not in the habit of tithing already, it can seem like a huge jump to commit to giving 10% of everything to your local church. That kind of commitment is liable to create some feelings of anxiety and worry. Why would God want me to go through that? Simple answer: to grow your faith. He wants you to learn to trust Him, Malachi 3:10, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Just like you trusted Him by faith when you asked Him to forgive you of all your sins, you need to trust Him by faith that He will look after you as you faithfully support his work financially. It is nothing less than a step of faith. You must take God at his word and trust that He will bless you for it. Now please do not confuse this with some distorted prosperity gospel, I am not suggesting that a giant financial windfall is in our collective futures once we decide to tithe, but that time and time again, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (Proverbs 11:24).
Trust him. Go for it.
Check out answers to other Tithing: What Gives? questions: Do I have to give 10%?, Do I give based on net or gross salary?, and Do I have to give all 10% to the church or can I spread it around? For more information on biblical stewardship, see our sermon series The Wise Steward or for answers to specific questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.