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 9:7
As a young Christian man, I felt compelled by my parents to tithe and support the church. It was a validation that I was a real Christian. In fact, I was told my life would be affected negatively if I did not tithe. So when I was married, my wife and I immediately started giving at least 10% of our gross income. We continued this practice for many years while raising our family. We wrote out our check to the church even if our bank account was near zero, and I felt somewhat proud of this family sacrifice.
As I experienced one job loss after another, my view of tithing was jolted. I realized I had been trying to appease the Lord and earn His blessing. The Lord was pleased with me, not because of the money I had been giving over the years, but because He was pleased with what Jesus had done for me in His sacrifice as my substitute.
We don’t need to try to be “good Christians” to gain God’s acceptance. He accomplished everything already on our behalf. Out of hearts of gratitude, we are free to give and do so cheerfully.
“Giving is true having.” (C. H. Spurgeon)