Q. Many companies have gone bankrupt in past few years and have changed the accounting on what is the Gross(first fruit)- I assume that monies that were deferred to a retirement under a defined benefit plan would be tithed on when one receives it since there is no dollar amount associated with that future, deferred income.
Now, a lot of companies have placed the retirement income, deferred income, in a defined contribution plan, with an actual dollar amount associated with it. It is under my responsibility to manage, but it is a future income, deferred income, that I may or may not get because our future time on earth is not guarnteed. However, both are the same , retirement income or deferrred income. The management of those funds have just changed.
So what is considered first fruits in both cases? What about IRA’s? I am not talking about deferrred investment income. I believe that is what God blesses and is first fruit. However, I am really confused on retirement because of the many ways retirement is handled: Pensions, Seps, Social security, 401ks, 401A, IRAs, DB plans, DC plans. Please give me your input, and any scripture to support it .
A. The asset management devices you mention are man made tools that governments use to influence our behavior and have nothing to do with spiritual principles like tithing. If it’s part of your compensation plan it’s income, whether you can spend it today or not.
Jesus said that with the measure we use in giving, it will be measured to us. (Luke 6:38) If you believed that the more generously you give the more generously you will receive, you’d be looking for ways to maximize your giving. Remember, the Pharisees got into trouble because while they kept the letter of the Law, they ignored its spirit.
The Lord doesn’t need our money. What He’s looking for is an attitude in our giving that reflects our gratitude for all He’s given us. Our generosity pleases Him because it shows how grateful we are, so He finds ways to provide us with extra blessings to show His appreciation.