Is My Biblical Giving Proportionate to My Income?
by Kristi LaMontagne
When we stop and think about it, God owns everything in the natural world and we are merely stewards or managers of what He has entrusted us to take care of. (Ps.24:1, Deut. 8:18). God makes it clear that everything we manage for Him comes from Him. As good stewards, God expects us to wisely manage the three sources that He gives all of us: our Time, Talent, and Treasure.
In Mal.3: 8-12, God instructs us to give back to Him a tenth of what he has given to us. This is the basic amount He asks of us. The Lord also wants us to give freewill offerings to advance His Kingdom and alms (charity) to the poor.
Our tithe is not derived from our net income, after taxes, but from our gross income before taxes! Many people are unaware of this biblical truth. For example, before my husband and I learned this principle, the enemy was vexing us in the area of our finances. By failing to give God the entire tithe, we put ourselves under a curse. (Mal.3: 8-9). After learning this principle, we corrected this misconception and our finances began to get into line with God’s Word so that we were then able to hear how God wanted us to allocate His money. Within one short year, we were on our way to becoming completely debt free, except for our home mortgage…and we hope that soon follows.
Once we understand that the true tithe is what the Bible calls a first fruits obligation, and that it is 10% of our gross income, we see that as God increases our income we should be cheerful about paying a larger tithe in proportion to our income. Offerings and alms are the second and third components of a three part biblical giving plan. These are based on freewill decisions that should be prayerfully made. We certainly encourage you to increase freewill giving as God blesses you with more income.
Is the concept of giving on your “gross income” new to you? Is your response “I can’t afford to give that much”? As things appear right now, this may appear to be true, however according to Mal. 3:10-12, you will find that this is the only place in the bible that the Lord gives us the challenge to test Him. By being obedient and putting God in the middle of your finances, you give Him your permission to break the power of the enemy over your finances and that positions you to enter into the abundance of His blessings! (Jer.29:11) I’m sure glad that we did!