Summary

In Malachi 3:10, God instructed the Israelites to bring the whole tithe in His house. Notice that this time God never said it should be given to the needy, rather the church. The church leadership has the responsibility of distributing these resources to the poor, taking off the burden from your shoulders. So, let the church leadership decide what to do with it as they are led by the spirit of God, just as the early church did under the apostles.

should you give your tithe to the church or help the needy

Where should you give your tithe?

God requires all Christians to give a tenth of their earnings as a tithe on His altar. The purpose of such is to put a hedge of protection around us and our source of income, hence ensuring a steady flow of finances. The practice of tithing began with Abraham, who honored Melchizedek with a tenth of his spoil from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 14:20).

Should you give your tithe to the church or help the needy?

You might be asking yourself, where should you give your tithe, or should you give your tithe to the church or help the needy? The Bible declares in the Old Testament that the people were required to either give their tithe to the Levites, who were the priests, the stranger or sojourner, the widow, and the orphans. The tithe was an inheritance for the Levites as they were not allowed to possess any land, but to serve in the tent of meeting. The rest were needy and hence needed support from the community.

When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.
Deuteronomy 26:12
I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.
Numbers 18:21

Tithing is sacred and you should be concerned about how and where it is used. My advice is that you can still help the needy and also tithe since it has greater spiritual importance.

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Ask yourself the following questions. Should you still give your tithe in the church when you know that your neighbor requires an equivalent amount of money? Think of it. Let’s say that an orphan who is in need of school fees comes to you for financial aid at a time that you usually give your tithe, should you go ahead and take your tithe to the church or you will meet their need first? Therefore, it depends on the circumstances at hand for there is no blessing in taking your tithe to the church when your neighbor is dying of hunger.  This is of great praiseworthy than the latter.

When not to give your tithe to the needy.

I believe there is a greater blessing when you present your tithe and offerings on the altar of the living God. It is not wrong to give to the needy, however, you should consider giving them the surplus and offer to God what belongs to Him. Not every needy person is genuine, others have hidden motives, which may be to bound your money and hinder your progress.

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There is a time I used to give away my tithe to help some needy friends, however, in the long run, I realized they were misusing the funds. It came to my knowledge that even one of them was using this sacred portion to purchase alcohol. It was a sad reality, as there was no blessing attached to it.

But you may also dispute that even church funds are misused. It is true and God will hold these individuals accountable. You can’t be investigating what people do with the money you give them, however, finding out that they are misusing it really breaks your heart. It is a sad reality.

The conclusion of the matter.

Giving your tithe to the church or helping the needy is your choice. As long as you are doing it to glorify God, you do not have to worry about how it is spent. Remember, God sees it all. However, my advice is you should consider giving your tithe to the church on the altar of God, as it will save you a lot of trouble.

In Malachi 3:10, God instructed the Israelites to bring the whole tithe in His house. Notice that this time God never said it should be given to the needy, rather the church. The church leadership has the responsibility of distributing these resources to the poor, taking off the burden from your shoulders. So, let the church leadership decide what to do with it as they are led by the spirit of God, just as the early church did under the apostles.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  
Malachi 3:10 

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