Should we tithe gross or net income?

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By BibleAsk Team


The decision to tithe gross or net income often depends on personal beliefs. Here’s a breakdown of the considerations involved:

Tithe

Tithing, the practice of giving tithes (a tenth of one’s income or produce) to support religious institutions or causes, is a concept deeply rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Both the Old and New Testaments contain principles and teachings that shed light on its significance and application for believers. Let’s explore what the Bible says about tithing:

1. Old Testament Basis for Tithing:

Tithing finds its origins in the Old Testament, where it was prescribed as a form of worship and support for the Levites, priests, and the maintenance of the tabernacle/temple.

References:

  • Leviticus 27:30: “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.”
  • Numbers 18:21: “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.”

2. Tithing as an Expression of Faithfulness:

Tithing was not only a practical means of supporting the religious community but also a way for individuals to demonstrate their faithfulness and trust in God as the provider of all blessings.

Reference:

  • Malachi 3:10: “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 is the only time in the Bible that God makes such a proposal. It is the only time that we are to test God. Many faithful Christians will gladly testify to the truth that says, “You can’t out-give God.”

3. Jesus’ Teaching on Tithing:

Jesus affirmed the importance if tithing and emphasized the broader principles of generosity, justice, and faithfulness in giving.

Reference:

  • Matthew 23:23: “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.”

4. Principles of Giving:

In addition to tithing, the New Testament encourages believers to give generously and sacrificially, motivated by love and a desire to support the work of the church and meet the needs of others.

References:

  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “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.”
  • Acts 20:35: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

5. Supporting the Work of Ministry in the New Testament:

Just as tithing supported the Levites and the temple in the Old Testament, the giving of tithes in the New Testament sustains the work of ministry, including the support of pastors, missionaries, and the needs of the church community.

References:

  • 1 Corinthians 9:14: “Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.”
  • Philippians 4:15-16: “Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.”

Tithe Gross or Net Income?

The deductions made from your check are for such things as taxes that provide services to you in the form of roads, medical help, retirement benefits…etc. This would be considered your increase. So, tithe should be 10% of your gross pay, and not 10% of the net. However, if you own a business, you should tithe the income you pay yourself, as well as any profits the company makes after all expenses are deducted.

Conclusion:

Both the New and the Old Testaments teach the principles of faithful giving, generosity, and support for the work of ministry. Tithing serves as a model of faithful stewardship and a tangible expression of gratitude to God for His provision. Whether through tithes or offerings, believers are called to give willingly, cheerfully, and sacrificially, trusting in God’s faithfulness to provide and bless abundantly.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories Law

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