How important is it for the poor and penniless to pay tithes? This is a question my girlfriend presented to me. She does not belong to any church or pay tithes. She is physically handicapped, she has to use a power scooter to get around a lot and can only walk very short distances. She has major surgeries every year. Her health problems and disabilities are so numerous I don't know what she would do without healthcare. She use to work years ago but now cannot due to how bad her disabilities have become. She may even need to have more surgery on her spine; she needed major surgery on her spine years ago to save herself from death. From her disability and soc security she gets a gross income each year of $8,000 thats it. She barely inches by each month making the rent, food costs, electric, utilities, etc. She was lucky enough to get into a section 8 apt, when she use to live at her old apt she risked being homeless many times. I have as well as her family have helped her with costs a lot. The problem with tithing for her is after the bills are paid there is little to no money left over. She barely survives every month. If she would pay tithes she might end up homeless. I can pay tithes because she makes only a fraction of what I make and I am of good health and have no healthcare costs to worry about. My parents growing up for many years always paid their 10% tithe to the church, but for them it was of little burden. I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in Naperville, IL. My parents made well above the national average. Every year we could afford to pay a 10% tithe as well as spend thousands of dollars each year on long vacations. On top of the tithe we wasted money on many luxuries many family's simply couldn't afford. Starbucks everyday, expensive clothes, seeing a box office smash every week, $500+ a year health clubs, going to sporting events, paying hundreds to see famous celebrities perform live, etc. I mean we had it good and I assumed as a kid all families lived like that. What my girlfriend is able to give to God is really a much bigger sacrafice to her then all the tithes my family gave. I don't remember praying much at meals, or evangelizing and converting people in other countries across the globe to christianity, or observing the sabboth, or attending church more then a few times a year, I really don't remember caring much about God as a kid or our family really believing that there was a God, but my parents always paid their 10% tithe during the years they went to church. The type of tithing preached in churches today really was an old testament law found in the book of Leviticus, and it wasn't in the form of money, but in livestock or crops. This law only applied to farmers and a few other occupations from my understanding. Those who did not earn their wages off of the land of Israel did not pay this tithe. Their were three types of tithes Jews practiced in ancient times. The form of tithe mentioned in Leviticus was the only mandatory one that only applied to some and not all the people. We were told by the apostle Paul that the old levitical laws from the old testament no longer applied under the new covenant. Tithing is mentioned in the gospels but it has much more implications than simply giving money. Showing love to fellow christians is a form of tithing talked about in the gospels. Never does Jesus tell his apostles to give 10% or does he say tithing has to be in the form of money. Jesus also uses examples of tithing that are in the form of generosity or out of love. He was very clear tithing didn't always come in the form of ones money or wealth. We are told in the new testament under 1 corinthians chapter 13 that the three most important virtues of the christian faith are faith, hope, and charity( also translated as Love); charity being the greatest virtue of them all. So under this law we should be as charitable as we can afford. Thus a family that can live well above the national average should be much more charitable then 10% of their income on the same token someone who fears being homeless every month should only be required to give what little money they can afford. The word charity also does not always apply in the form of money but also can mean donating time and showing love. So in this sense one who doesn't simply have the money could also tithe by donating their time to others and loving them. They could also donate possessions or items they don't and that could be counted as a form of a tithe.