Q. With all the questions about tithing I’ve managed to come up with one of my own. When we tithe, should we tithe the 10% off of our gross or net pay? I’ve never really ever considered the money that the government takes from me as mine to begin with and never felt the compulsion to tithe off of it, but I just wanted to get your insight on the subject.
A. The sheep herder in Israel didn’t deduct the cost of feeding his sheep, or the value of the wool he didn’t get to harvest and sell on the sheep he contributed, or take a depletion allowance because wild animals ate a portion of his flock every year. When it came time to pay his tithe, he counted off every tenth lamb that had been born that year and gave it to the Lord.
Having spent most of my life in my own business, I know that there’s a big difference between what a person earns and what he gets to keep. But when I began tithing, I decided to tithe off my company’s gross receipts, before deducting any expenses at all. I know that I could have deducted a lot of my gross for expenses, like I did for tax purposes, because it wasn’t really my money. But Luke 6:38 says that with the measure you use it will be measured to you, and 2 Cor. 9:11 says that God would make us rich in every way so that we could be generous on every occasion, so I decided to be like the sheep herder and err on the side of generosity. I’ve always been glad I did because I’ve learned that you can’t out give the Lord.