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 foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.Deuteronomy 26:12 NIV
Tithing, or giving ten percent, was a practice commanded under the old covenant. Various passages refer to this practice, including this one. Every third year the people were to take ten percent of their harvest and give that tithe to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow. These four groups of people were dependent on the generosity of others to survive. This tithe ensured that they would have enough to eat.
While I believe that a legalistic tithe is not required of God’s people under the new covenant, I do believe that generosity is still expected from us. But that generosity should not be restricted to giving money to the church you attend. The orphan and widow, the immigrant, the homeless, and the poor around the world are still in great need today. The opportunities to help others, either financially or with your time and presence, are myriad.
I know that some abuse the generosity of others. But many are genuinely in need. If the Lord has blessed you, I would encourage you to give generously to the genuine needs of others around you. Be assured that God blesses the generous.