Is Taking A Deduction For Our Tithe OK?

Q. This is a follow up to Giving In Secret. What is your take on writing off our tithe on our taxes? Would our motive for doing so come into play, and would we lose our reward for doing so?

A. In Matt. 6:1-4 Jesus said if our giving is seen by men we would have no reward in Heaven. But it’s clear from the context that He was speaking of calling attention to our giving in the hope of being honored by men. I know people who have given a fair amount of money away, and taken the lawful deduction for doing so. But I’ve never met anyone who was honored by the IRS for it.

According to Romans 13:7 we’re supposed to pay the taxes we owe, but Paul didn’t say we should pay more than the law requires. I don’t think we have to worry about taking every deduction that’s due us. It’s receiving public recognition for our giving that we should avoid.

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