Q. I just came across your section on tithing and it brought up a question I have had for a long time. Since taxes get taken out of our gross pay before we even see the check, how can we give the first fruits? Is there a way that you know of to pay our taxes differently so that we can truly give our first fruits to Him? And it says the first fruits of our increase, does this mean non financial things also? Someone had donated a car to us and I’m not sure how to deal with that. And what about time? Every day we are given 24 more hours, can you imagine what our world would be like if we all tithed 10 percent of our time to Him?
A. The Lord doesn’t hold us responsible for things we can’t control, and federal law requires that our taxes be withheld from our pay. Add them back in and then calculate your tithe accordingly.
As for the car and other non-monetary gifts, we can give a tithe based on their financial value. Since the Lord’s generosity toward us is determined by our generosity toward Him (Luke 6:38) we can’t go wrong. But remember, unless whatever we give is purely out of gratitude it does us no good. If it becomes something we feel compelled to do out of obligation then we’re missing the point.