Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tithing


I had a discussion with some people one night a while back ago about tithing. Tithing is the 10% of everything we have that we are to return back to God. Whatever God blesses us with, he only asks for 10% back. Some people use "tithe" & "offering" interchangably but this is incorrect. While, tithing is the 10%, an offering is anything over 10% that you "offer" back to God.

Anyway, back to the debate we had. I believe that the 10% (when speaking of money, not time, talents, etc that we are also expected to also tithe) comes from net pay, that is, before taxes. The girl I was speaking with disagreed with me, she believed that it should come from "take home" pay.

Here are my thoughts. The government already asks for a greater percentage of "my" pay than the Lord does. I would feel as though I was cheating God if the "division of wealth" did not start from the same amount.

Now, I do see a point in their argument, that the money that is taken out of my paycheck never actually comes to me but really it is. Some of the money goes to Social Security. That is money that will come back to me in my later years, so we have been told, so will I need to give a tithe then when I am living on that money? If so then I don't need to tithe that money now, right?


Ok, I can see that arguement but what about insurance taken out? That is your money, relatively speaking. Okay, if you don't calculate your tithe from the original amount so that it includes this money, then everytime you go to the doctor & insurance pays, are you going to figure out 10% of what the insurace paid? Sounds complicated to me. However, maybe we should.


What about taxes? Well, Luke 20:22-25 quotes Jesus as saying "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." Yes, I know this verse is basically just saying that we should obey the laws of the land & pay what is asked of us. I must admit that I have yet to find a passage in the Bible that says whether we should figure before taxes or not but like I said before, I just would feel guilty, like the government is more important than my Savior.


The other thing is taxes are really just another service that I pay for. I pay for the military & police to keep me safe. I pay for the roads to remain traversable. I pay for politicians to deal with things I don't understand. No, I am not usually thrilled with all the service I receive but it is part of what I must do to live in this country. So, since it is just another service I pay for, then it should be included, right? If not, then I should also deduct my utilities & rent & other services I pay for, right?


Speaking of taxes, what about if you get a tax refund, should you give 10% of that back to God? Well, here is my thought, a tax refund is the money that I over paid in taxes throughout the year. If I figured my tithe before taxes, then I've already paid the tithe on that money but if I haven't then I will have to give 10% of my return.


This is just how I feel about this topic. I must also admit that I have not been very good at tithing as of late & I really need to sit down & figure it out. I will need to figure out a different amount every 2 weeks because I work on an hourly basis so my pay check is different every time. Either that or I could over estimate. If I over estimate then I may be paying more than God has asked but I would rather pay more for all He has given me than cheat Him.


So, if you were bored enough to get this far in my ponderings, let me know what you think. Also, know that I understand if this topic doesn't pertain to you (aka you're not a Christian) or if you don't have the time or it just doesn't matter to you or if it is just too controversial of a topic for you to want to get involved in for you to comment. Don't worry about it. These are just my convictions on the subject.



6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and
whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God
loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so
that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in
every good work.
-- II Corinthians 9:6-8


10And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last
year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.
11Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by
your completion of it, according to your means. 12For if the willingness is
there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what
he does not have.
-- II Corinthians 8: 10-12

2 comments:

Sadekat said...

I have always assumed that tithing was 10% of your whole income, before taxes, insurance, etc. That is your income after all. Great topic. You really inspire me to dust off my bible. Ever since I watched your video about goals (I think?) where you mentioned you wanted to get back to reading your bible more often... I have wanted to get back to reading it and maybe even get back to church.

kris_tea said...

I feel the same way.

Aw, thanks.

I've actually been pretty good over the past 2 years but I wanted to get to where I read every single day.