Should a christian living on welfare/social assistance pay tithe?


By BibleAsk Team

The question of whether a Christian living on welfare or social assistance should pay tithe involves understanding God’s will in His Word. To explore this topic thoroughly, we must examine relevant biblical teachings on tithing, stewardship, and care for the needy, as well as consider the practical implications of tithing for individuals receiving welfare or social assistance.

Understanding Tithing in Scripture

Leviticus 27:30

In the Old Testament, the practice of tithing is established as a commandment of the Mosaic law. Leviticus 27:30 (NKJV) states, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.” This verse instructs the Israelites to give a tenth of their agricultural produce to the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving and obedience.

Malachi 3:8-10

In the book of Malachi, the prophet rebukes the people of Israel for withholding their tithes and offerings from God. Malachi 3:8-10 (NKJV) declares, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” This passage emphasizes the importance of faithful tithing and promises blessings for those who honor God with their finances.

Matthew 23:23

In the New Testament, Jesus affirms the principle of tithing while condemning the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. In Matthew 23:23 (NKJV), Jesus says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” While Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for their legalistic approach to tithing, He upholds the practice as a matter of obedience to God’s commands.

Principles of Stewardship and Generosity

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

The New Testament encourages Christians to give generously and cheerfully, recognizing that God blesses those who sow generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NKJV) states, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” This passage underscores the importance of a willing and joyful heart in giving, rather than a sense of obligation or compulsion.

Luke 21:1-4

Jesus praises the widow who gives her last two mites, highlighting the significance of sacrificial giving and the attitude of the heart. In Luke 21:1-4 (NKJV), Jesus observes the widow putting her meager offering into the temple treasury and commends her, saying, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” This passage illustrates that God values the sincerity and sacrificial nature of our giving, regardless of the amount.

1 Timothy 5:8

The apostle Paul admonishes believers to provide for their own families and relatives, emphasizing the importance of meeting their basic needs. In 1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV), Paul writes, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” This verse underscores the responsibility of individuals to care for their families and ensure their well-being.

Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-35

The early Christian community in Acts exemplifies a spirit of mutual support and generosity, sharing their resources with those in need. Acts 2:44-45 describes how believers sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as anyone had need. Acts 4:32-35 further emphasizes the communal sharing of resources among the early believers, highlighting the radical generosity and unity that characterized the early church.

Application for Christians on Welfare or Social Assistance

God does not need our money, but He wants us to receive His blessings that He promised for all who put Him first and pay tithes. God says if we put Him first, He will see to it that our needs are all met and much more. Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

The Lord says in Malachi 3:10-12, “Prove me now” after you tithe and see if I will not “pour you out a blessing” too big to receive. This is the only time in the Bible that God makes such a proposal. He is saying, “Give it a try. It will work. I promise you.” We cannot afford not to tithe! Tithe is very important for all and especially the needy, who are in welfare and social assistance.

Hundreds of thousands of people that pay their tithes will gladly testify to the truth of God’s tithing promise. They have all learned the truth of the words: “You can’t out-give God.” God promises that faithful tithe payers will receive blessings so great that they will not have room enough to receive them.  And God’s Words can’t fail for He promised, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).


The question of whether a Christian living on welfare or social assistance should pay tithe involves understanding God’s will as it is revealed in His Word. As the needy honor God by their tithes, they receive His blessings and favor. Ultimately, the heart of giving lies in a sincere desire to honor God and support His work, regardless of one’s financial situation or ability to give monetarily. As believers strive to live out the principles of stewardship, generosity, and care for the needy, may they find wisdom, grace, and blessing in their financial stewardship journey.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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