“For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (1 Cor 9:9-14)
People often disagree about this question, largely because they’re not sure just what the Bible teaches on it. In fact, the Bible does not give us a simple formula to arrive at the proper amount one should be paid.
When God gave Moses the commandment “thou shall not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn” God wrote it for our sakes. Although it had an application for the ox it is an application meant for us. Paul uses that line to say that ministers of God that work for the things of God should be paid to do such. Ministers should be allowed to eat from their field. We should not expect them to work all day and not get a return for what they did.
Working For No Pay
You wouldn’t show up to work if you didn’t know that you would get a paycheck. Would you go dedicate 40 hours or more a week to something you knew you wouldn’t get paid for? Would you just show up because the office really needs an extra hand so why not help out? Of course not!
Yet the vast majority of the world seems to think that a pastor or minister of God shouldn’t get paid for what he does! Do you see the hypocrisy? You wouldn’t put yourself in that situation but you want others to be put in that situation. Just because the work is done for God doesn’t mean that the minister no longer has bills to pay!
The World System
As much as some do not like it, this world operates with money. Money in it’s self is not evil. You can do many wonderful things with money. Like buy Bible’s, feed the poor and clothe the naked.
We need to stop thinking that everyone that has money is evil. There are billionaires in this world that do good and there are poor people that do evil. It is not the money that corrupts individuals, it’s their love of money. The love can be in their heart regardless if they have money or not.
Unrealistic expectations exist for ministers of God. It is not a sin to ask for a love offering. It is not a sin to ask for the body of Christ to financially support certain people in the body.
Even the apostle Paul had financial support during his time of many travels. Paul thanks the church at Philipi for physically helping him time and time again (Philippians 4:15-19). Even though Paul was a spiritual man he could not live on just prayer, he needed things in the physical as well.
A few verses before, Paul says he knows how to be in lack and how to be in abundance. Imagine that! A very well known minister even in his day being in want. Imagine if he had reacted like most people today imagine as “holy”. “No that’s way too much, that’s okay, thank you for the money but God will supply, God knows my struggles and he is faithful.” There is so much pride within people today that they can’t humble themselves to say thank you I was in need for that. Your pride will make money flee from you.
Is this not a good way of showing that you love someone? Are we to say to the hungry God bless you may he fill you, when we have the means to feed them? Of course not! Money speaks. And it can speak loudly. What does your bank account say of you? Does it say greed, waster, or good steward?
What Does God Think?
Ultimately it does not matter what we think but what God says. Our will should aline to his word. So what does God think?
As a father he wants the best for his children, he wants to give good gifts. We have to renew our mind to think that giving to those in the kingdom of God is not a waste of money. The best investment we can ever make is in the kingdom of God.
You can be assured that someone that receives pay that’s within the kingdom will advance the kingdom. Their time is free from a 9-5 job to do what God has placed on their hearts to accomplish. That could be visiting a couple that just had a baby, reading or even spending time with their own family. It is not wrong to invest time into yourself and your family. Stop being super spiritual to think that they only way to advance God’s kingdom is to be preaching.
So next time you tithe at church know full well that your money is spent in obedience to God.