A friend of mine asked me if they should tithe off of their income tax return the other day. It’s a question I usually hear every year so here’s my quick thoughts in case you wondering….
If you tithe off of your “take home” salary, then yes. This is finances coming back to you that you have not tithed on yet.
If you are like me and pay off you gross salary, then you have already tithed off those funds. For us, we still like to take a predetermined amount of the return and offer it as an offering and find areas to do acts in the area of generosity. It keeps us giving with a joyful heart and helps combat the desire of selfishness to try to just do things for ourselves.
(We tithe off our gross pay because we want to pay God first instead of paying the government first and then God gets His cut off the left overs.)
Now, let’s back up to explain some things for those who may be reading this.
Tithing is a Biblical command of giving back to God 10% of what He gives to us. It is to honor Him, follow Him, and help keep us from putting our hope and confidence in money instead of the one who provides for us. Anything that we give above the 10% is called an offering which we do as God leads on top of the tithe.
Some believe tithing is an Old Testament practice that was fulfilled with Jesus and no longer applies. What does apply (in this view) is that we are to give as God leads as we seek Him instead of following the command of the tithe. I can see how some would view things this way and I don’t beat up that view. However, if this is your view, then the answer on your income tax would be to pray over your income tax (as you do all your income) on what God would have you to give instead of just running out to buy a flat screen TV you have had your eye on.
Both ways, we should be mindfully seeking God on how we should be stewards on our finances and what part we play in providing resources to the work of the Church.
Pastor Tom Hypes