Sharing your substance vs tithing


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The other thread prompted this post.

If someone receives cash or a gift card as a gift do you tithe? My answer is no, it was a gift. But if someone were to give me a large sum of money for a need (like a car or a wedding gift) I may feel inclined to donate to some other church fund, especially if the gift was a particularly sizeable one.

Does a person only ever receive gifts? If my mother gives me a gift for my birthday I wouldn't pay tithing on it, but when it's her birthday I would give her a gift as well. We are to share our substance but sharing is not the same as tithing and that's where I think people are getting all mixed up.

When I was in need I was given much from the church, especially in the way of baby things. If I had been required to pay a "tithe" on all the things I received after having my daughter I wouldn't have been able to make rent! Now however, when the opportunity arises, and it does, I'll give to someone else need.

I don't think it's about tithing. I think it's more synergistic than that. I believe it's more about seeing a need and fulfilling that need. Everyone is working hard yet everyone is constantly giving and receiving.

Of course, this is not to say that one should not pay tithing. Tithing is important and fulfills the needs of the church as a whole. I have a testimony of the importance of tithing and the blessings one receives from obeying that commandment.

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We are to share our substance but sharing is not the same as tithing and that's where I think people are getting all mixed up.

Agreed. Sharing is not the same as tithing. We are not commanded to share all our increase, but we are commanded to tithe.

If my boss gives me a $10,000 Christmas bonus, do I tithe that as "income"? It's just a gift, right? Not part of my salary. What about a year-end bonus due to the company doing well? It's not payment for services rendered. Basically, it's a gift. Why tithe that?

When I pay my kids their allowance, do they tithe that? If so, why? I already tithed it! It's basically a gift to them. Or should I avoid tithing all the money I pay to them in allowance?

If I'm a business owner, I am allowed to deduct business expenses from my taxes. Can I likewise deduct those expenses from my tithing? If not, I might end up paying a whooooole lot more than 10% of my net increase for tithing. On the other hand, if I need not tithe those expenses, then why shouldn't I deduct the cost of gasoline, insurance, and car maintenance from my tithing? After all, I need that stuff to get to work, so it's really just a business expense (whether or not the federal government officially recognizes that).

I believe that tithing is a test of our attitude. I ask myself the following: If my bishop asked me to sign over my house and all my belongings to him as a donation to the Church, how long would it take for me to have the deed in his hand? If my honest answer is, "As soon as I could arrange it," then I take my best shot at paying an honest tithing and consider that sufficient. If my answer is anything else, then I suspect my tithing will be insufficient, no matter how I calculate it.

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In my limited experience in Utah, I have found that many people seem to get very caught up in the minutiae of tithing and whether they are full tithing payers as if God were a tax collector waiting to audit them in the afterlife. I find it hard to believe a loving God would care so much about the details as long as your heart was in the right place.

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I never tithe borrowed money, because it is not "increase". However, I always tithe money I use to pay back debts. In that sense, I am tithing the original loan plus all interest. Just more incentive to stay out of debt. :)

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I agree about school loans. Scholarships can be seen as a gift, but I have known people who paid tithing on school grants and scholarships. However, when I receive such monies I am often moved to donate to some other Church fund.

I, however, would tithe on work bonuses because it's work related. Also, if you pay tithing on your net income instead of your gross when you get a tax return methinks you should pay tithing on that return as it is money you earned but didn't receive until later.

I will admit that if the Bishop were to ask me to donate my home to the Church I would question it. I would want details on the why of it (search), I would then discuss it with my family and what we would do (ponder), and then take it the Lord to get my own confirmation that yes this is indeed required of us (pray).

God knows how much tithing you need to pay. I remember being behind on paying my tithing. I was talking to God about it in prayer and said, "Yeah, this next paycheck I'll be sure to pay you the $50 I owe you."

God interjected, "$70."

I responded, "$70? No way it's $50."


"What? How can it possibly be $70?"

"Check again."

A bit frustrated I did the math and sure enough, wonder of wonders, I owed God $70 bucks. So, I said to him, "Oh, sorry, you're right."

I got no words after that, but I had this feeling that he was patiently amused by my silly arguement. He's God! He knows everything! DUH he's right! :lol:

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Never had the money management conversation...well kind of ....

You see I didn't know there were still churches that still followed the tithing law in such exactitude. My understanding was something about new covenants and that it was not required...while donating to charities and such was a part of my practice.

I joined a money management education program a year ago with little interest. But around the same time as I logged onto LDS forums as a member: I wrote a detailed yearly budget and have it down to exactness months later (unrelated...way before I came across the tithing concept). Never had the inclination...certainly amazed that I'm still doing real need to do so...although I can see the benefits. And it occurred to me that tithing was a little like having a morty...good training wheels for budgetting on a micro level whereas mortys are macro. It has developed into a decade plan.

I can go with *no relation whatsoever*...but unfortuneately I don't think so ; ). Feel free to encourage me to think so : ))))). It's one of those nagging things that I'm just not praying in detail about at the moment ...but will eventually. Sort of on budget training wheels at the moment...and doh...every budgetting software I've looked at has a tithing category. Since I'm not a member of a church I'll go with...perhaps just a conscience thing. Yes, I'm lagging...but I don't know the answers...and truth be told it probably is an obedience problem...though I'm generally automatic on following things ...most of the time.

The received answer I got on tithing practice questions *is it a wrong teaching?* was...I'm already tithing close to that amount to the tobacco industry. Since I didn't get the expected no...what? ...I went back to learning about what was practiced in Biblical times Doh! Wasn't expecting God to be that blunt about my lifestyle choices either...not. at. all. Praying for help on that one...not doing so well. Don't even think about mentioning coffee...I now have a pendulum nicotine...go the caffeine and vice versa. Working myself out one prayer at a time. When the JWs stopped by (I was trapped outside at the time) and told me that smokers went to a fiery hell...I laughed...and not that long ago. I thought in the scheme of things, smoking was too God talks to people about obesity and not getting enough sleep...yes I know body is your temple...but I was ignoring that teaching as much as I ignored health warnings on perhaps a convenient belief that God doesn't care about that...even if I knew He did. So what on earth would bother me about the Word of Wisdom? If I hadn't received that answer, it may never have bothered me.

Learning about tithing in a most interesting way...why link the two choices in lifestyle. A different substance debate...tithing gifts...not registering on my stress scale.

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  • 4 years later...

I'm wondering if this post is gonna get me banned my first day on here. Regardless, I gotta interject something...I'm staring at the rationalizations in total disbelief. Guys, tithing is tithing is tithing...we are not given the "option" to pay when we feel we should. At a minimum we are commanded to pay 10% "of our increase"...I believe that is what everyone is going on.

A gift is indeed an increase. How can you say you don't have to tithe because you didn't work for it? Come on.... you didn't have the money before it was given to you. You have it now.

A rationalization, regardless of how "rational" it is, is still just making an excuse for not paying.

Pay it or don't. It's between you and the Lord. But holy cow, please don't go telling everyone it's okay to not pay because it was a gift, or whatever the reason.

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