Ask an Officer

What Does It Mean to Tithe?

Ask an officer anything. An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith.
Ask an Officer

“What does it mean to tithe? I don’t get a lot of money to begin with. Is this something I have to do?”

A tithe is an Old Testament term which literally means one-tenth (10 percent), and God’s people were expected to give a “tithe” of all their increase back to Him. It’s interesting that you use the words “begin with” because it’s hard to give back to God with what is left over at the end of the week. If we “begin with” giving to God, He promises that He will supply all of our needs. Giving back to God shows our gratitude to Him for all that He has done for us and nothing we do can compare to all that He has done. Giving also shows our reliance on Him and trust in Him. As far as how much we should give, I think you should ask God to show you. Other important ways to give back to God are with our time and our talents.

Major Stewart Dalrymple
Union, NJ

“Giving back to God shows our gratitude to Him for all that He has done for us and nothing we do can compare to all that He has done.”

“How should my faith impact my non-Christian friendships?”

As children of God, we are called to be holy as Christ is holy (1 Peter 1:16), but how do we live out this holiness while being relevant in non-Christian friendships?

The key is not to compromise your Christian stance and disciplines. Offer non-threatening, practical prayer support (i.e. visit a family member in the hospital) and share your own faith experiences of how God answered a specific prayer. Attend social gatherings you’re invited to, especially if it is on a Sunday, while not compromising your Sunday church service. Extend invitations to corps’ (church) social outreach programs that are happening in the community, especially if they have a keen interest in practical service to those in need. Also, invite your friends to special church services and fellowship events.

Most importantly, continue to pray for their salvation (John 3:16).

Captain Juanita Wright
Johannesburg, South Africa

“I’m struggling to find time to read the Bible or pray—especially during Christmas time. Help!”

My daily Bible and devotional time needs to be one of the first things I do at the beginning of my day because that’s what works for me. Figure out the best time for your devotional time and find a space with limited distractions. Choose to set that time aside for God. Guard it. Treat it like an unbreakable appointment—even when you don’t feel like it. Keep your expectations realistic, recognizing that there are some seasons that are naturally going to be busier than others—and that’s okay.
I’m currently using the book “Seeking God’s Face” by Philip F. Reinders as my daily devotional guide. Each day includes an invitation into God’s presence, times of quiet, a prayer and a closing blessing. This is a good fit for me and has helped me transform the spiritual discipline of meeting with God each day. Find something that “fits” with your personality and is of interest to you!

Major Shona Pike
London, England

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