Friday, February 09, 2007

Tithing logistics

I got caught up in something today and discovered the easiest way to walk away from sin -- listen to someone else with the same sin.

I was fiddling with my checkbook today, writing out my tithe check. Suddenly I remembered something and considered writing out another larger check. Immediately I was wondering some very horrible words, "Is this really necessary?" I then started pondering the logistics of tithing and percentages and what all you actually have to tithe off of.

Then I thought about how all the money is Gods and how I expect that God will protect me and bless me (not necessarily financially) because of my obedience in giving.
That instantly led me to the next thought -- should I really be giving just so God will bless me?
Upon that thought I was reminded of the admonition to be a cheerful giver. Unfortunately I was too gripped with figuring out the rules of giving to be happy about giving, especially if I couldn't be convinced that I wasn't giving just to get.

So, I decided to look up online information on tithing, this is just a sample of what I read:

Rick said,
"Is child support taxable?
If you say yes, then what if the ex-husband paid tithing on the money first?"

Connor Boyack said:
Tithing is paid on one’s increase. No refunds are given for one’s decrease (omitting for the time being church assistance programs etc.) So if I bought my house for $200,000 and I sell it for $300,000, do I owe the church $10,000?

Roland said:
A few years back when we were renters we found a big IRS tax benefit by paying our tithing a year in advance. The oversize charitable deduction would swing us into a lower tax bracket every other year.

bill said:
If I earn $50,000 this year, instead of paying $5,000 in tithing, I buy $5,000 of tithing free bonds this year. Since the interest is tithing free, then I would not pay tithing on the $500 of interest the bonds earn. Is this correct since the bonds are tithing free or do you pay tithing on the interest?

After reading a few too many of those posts I was sick of the nitpicking. Sick of how obsessed they were with making the most out of their money by shorting God. I'm all for making the most of your money, but when you're doing it by seeing how little you can give God, that's where I see the error. And that's when it hit me, I can't give God too much. It doesn't matter if I sell everything I own and from this day forward give every single penny I receive to God; He'll never come back and say "You shouldn't have given that much."

So I give, and with that has come a joyfulness that something as stupid as money might make God pleased with me. And that has me pretty cheerful.

No comments: