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missionary0204

Tithing-Itemize Daycare?

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Perhaps because when someone comments and states what we can and can't comment on...they only want to hear what they want to hear.

You have a better chance of convincing the OP with logic and common sense than with a snide remark.

M.

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Guest gopecon

I've always thought that those of us who work for someone else have an easier time figuring out tithing than the self-employed/business owners out there. There's not always a clear line between a tax deductible expense and a true business expense that is cash out of income. That said, I think the OP's wife is absolutely right on this one.

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I explained to her that if God demanded 50% then I would give it, but he asks for 10% and I consider....

Seems right there that you are stating your case pretty clearly.

If "demanded" you would "give"

but

God "asks" so you consider & itemize & try to figure out what is & is not expected to be included.

....and I consider daycare to be no different than a company the deducts costs of goods sold from their total revenue before calculating increase (ignore all of the overhead accounting and other expenses and keep this simple).

But you are NOT a business. The Lord does not say 10% after your cost-of-living.

I am a business owner & my tax attorney (who is also an LDS Stake Prez) always says:

"If it's a regular or routine expense for non-business owners, then you better have clear and convincing evidence that it is a legitatmate required business expense before you lump it into expenses."

He then goes on to explain how he won't be the one trying to explain my rationale to the IRS, I will be.

I'm not so sure "child care expenses" so that you could operate a sole proprietor LLC would be a deductible expenses the IRS would so eagerly accept.

_______

As for my opinion on the "tithing code" ... you won't like it but,

I'd rather try to explain your rationale to the IRS then to the Lord. The Lord already knows what is in your heart & mind & sole. At least with the IRS you might have a chance.

I agree with your wife; however, if you are set with your rationalization, then perhaps your wife should pay her tithing on her income & you pay your tithing on your income.

That way each individual would be paying what they feel is a full tithe & each of you would be able to answer the Lord with a resounding "YES" when He or one of those called on to serve in His stead asks if you (or her) are a full tithe payer.

My wife & I have always paid our tithing seperately.

Her income is normally used to run the household where as my income, well, my income is very sporadic & there are frequently times when my income simply isn't & it would be all too easy to use her income to cover the farm & then say we don't have to pay tithing on that.

Her tithing is paid every 2-weeks, mine is paid sporadicly with a fairly large lump-sum in March when the Scheduel F is all hammered out & I know my bottom line.

So she budgets her income & I budget mine & as part of that budgeting we each take INDIVIDUAL responisbility for our own tithing.

Incidentaly, the wife always paid tithes before considering child care expenses.

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I explained to her that if God demanded 50% then I would give it, but he asks for 10% and I consider....

Seems right there that you are stating your case pretty clearly.

If "demanded" you would "give"

but

God "asks" so you consider & itemize & try to figure out what is & is not expected to be included.

....and I consider daycare to be no different than a company the deducts costs of goods sold from their total revenue before calculating increase (ignore all of the overhead accounting and other expenses and keep this simple).

But you are NOT a business. The Lord does not say 10% after your cost-of-living.

I am a business owner & my tax attorney (who is also an LDS Stake Prez) always says:

"If it's a regular or routine expense for non-business owners, then you better have clear and convincing evidence that it is a legitatmate required business expense before you lump it into expenses."

He then goes on to explain how he won't be the one trying to explain my rationale to the IRS, I will be.

I'm not so sure "child care expenses" so that you could operate a sole proprietor LLC would be a deductible expenses the IRS would so eagerly accept.

_______

As for my opinion on the "tithing code" ... you won't like it but,

I'd rather try to explain your rationale to the IRS then to the Lord. The Lord already knows what is in your heart & mind & sole. At least with the IRS you might have a chance.

I agree with your wife; however, if you are set with your rationalization, then perhaps your wife should pay her tithing on her income & you pay your tithing on your income.

That way each individual would be paying what they feel is a full tithe & each of you would be able to answer the Lord with a resounding "YES" when He or one of those called on to serve in His stead asks if you (or her) are a full tithe payer.

My wife & I have always paid our tithing seperately.

Her income is normally used to run the household where as my income, well, my income is very sporadic & there are frequently times when my income simply isn't & it would be all too easy to use her income to cover the farm & then say we don't have to pay tithing on that.

Her tithing is paid every 2-weeks, mine is paid sporadicly with a fairly large lump-sum in March when the Scheduel F is all hammered out & I know my bottom line.

So she budgets her income & I budget mine & as part of that budgeting we each take INDIVIDUAL responisbility for our own tithing.

Incidentaly, the wife always paid tithes before considering child care expenses.

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Update:

I want to share my thoughts and feelings about this experience and feel obligated to do so since so many of you took your time to give me an external opinion. I also want to thank everyone for your comments. I asked this question on this forum because I wanted an outside opinion. I am the type of person that is opinionated, but if corrected, I do not hesitate to make an immediate change. Most things have to make sense in my mind before I accept it. My background is in business, securities, and investments. I feel like I have been conditioned in life and could not understand logically why my wife thought that daycare shouldn't be deducted first. We have never paid daycare before, so this is new to me. I literally did not feel that I was cheating the law in anyway.

After reading the posts and contemplating the information, I decided that daycare is providing me an increase. My daughter is nurtured, educated, fed, and loved in this facility. I told my wife yesterday that I agree with her on the subject and thanked her for helping me to understand. She smiled and held my hand.

I sense other changes in my reasoning. I am debating on whether to change how I treat my 401k. Currently I do not pay tithing on my 401k or social security. My plan was to pay tithing on both of those whenever i receive disbursements. Now I am debating whether this is right.

401k: Technically I do not see this money but it is paid to me through my check and distributed to an investment company. What if the investment is lost over the years and I never see a dime? Have I robbed God on the money I origionally made? Of course if the investment grows then tithing will be paid after disburements.

Social Security Tax: Technically I pay a tax on what I have earned and I have no choice in the matter. I am promised an IOU if certain requirements are met but there is no guarantee. The scripture "Give unto Ceasar that which is Ceasars, and give unto God that which is God's" keeps ringing in my ears. Even if I never see a dime from social security after retirement, should I have paid tithing on it anyway? I can be robbed, but is it robbing God by not paying it?

I am developing my opinion, but would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Edited by missionary0204
Spelling Corrections

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I sense other changes in my reasoning. I am debating on whether to change how I treat my 401k. Currently I do not pay tithing on my 401k or social security. My plan was to pay tithing on both of those whenever i receive disbursements. Now I am debating whether this is right.

I could see good arguments being made either way. My own thought process is as follows:

I receive 401K money and willingly put it in an account. Thus, it is an investment exactly like any other investment I make, so the invested money gets tithed FIRST. If I lose money, so be it. If I make money, I tithe the increase.

Social security, on the other hand, I do not see, ever, until and unless I reach retirement age. It is not an investment I am willingly making (though, of course, the politicians talk about it as such). It is not a tax. It is, quite literally, a withholding of my money. So when I get the money that has been withheld, I will tithe it. Until that time, it's not increase.

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I receive 401K money and willingly put it in an account. Thus, it is an investment exactly like any other investment I make, so the invested money gets tithed FIRST. If I lose money, so be it. If I make money, I tithe the increase.

Between rollovers, gains and losses, and whatever else that can be thrown into the pot, will one be even able to calculate what part of their investment after retirement is a gain? Sure it might be easier if you never change jobs, but financial institutions only keep records for up to seven years, and I seriously doubt most people have those annual records over the course of 30+ years.

Additional thoughts?

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My background is in business, securities, and investments.

Then let's keep it very simple.

Everything you earn FIRST is tithed... before you itemize for the IRS.

The IRS does not determine how much you tithe... you do.

Keep in mind that tithing is considered a charitable deduction as well, so it'll all be a wash.

If your 401k contributions are made with 'non-tithed' funds, then upon distribution, you should pay a tithe during your retirement years.

If you are trying to itemize every little thing in determining your TITHE... then you are 'wrestling' with the commandment.

Don't treat the church and the IRS the same way.

This is coming from a ChFC, RFC, Series 7, 66 & Life Insurance licensed individual.

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I personally will not pay on my 401K or Social Security until I pull it out, I have no benefit (increase)out of that money until I pull it out. It may grow so I owe more or it may go away so it will not be an increase.

Your mileage may vary.

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Between rollovers, gains and losses, and whatever else that can be thrown into the pot, will one be even able to calculate what part of their investment after retirement is a gain? Sure it might be easier if you never change jobs, but financial institutions only keep records for up to seven years, and I seriously doubt most people have those annual records over the course of 30+ years.

Additional thoughts?

I thought the "basis" of your 401K or IRA was always kept track of. (Hope I'm using the right term.) You withdraw your already-tithed basis, then tithe anything else.

But if worse comes to worst, I might end up paying tithing twice on some funds. I'm okay with that.

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Perhaps because when someone comments and states what we can and can't comment on...they only want to hear what they want to hear.

Or perhaps missionary0204 actually felt that gas and cars are irrelevant to his point.

Regards,

Finrock

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I thought the "basis" of your 401K or IRA was always kept track of. (Hope I'm using the right term.) You withdraw your already-tithed basis, then tithe anything else.

But if worse comes to worst, I might end up paying tithing twice on some funds. I'm okay with that.

There is no "basis" in an IRA/401k. "Basis" only applies to non-tax-deductible accounts - such as non-qualified annuities, life insurance, real estate, etc. These accounts may have capital gains taxes... and therefore need to have their 'basis' tracked.

Not so with an IRA/401k. Nearly all traditional IRAs and 401k balances are on a tax-deductible contribution basis (assuming you aren't filing an IRS form 8606 for a non-deductible traditional IRA contribution)...

... all withdrawals are treated as ordinary income... not capital gains.

If you contributed $100,000 over your lifetime to your 401k (yes a small number, but stay with me), and it grew to $150,000... what would your capital gains taxes be?

Zero.

IRAs/401k have no capital gains taxes.

However, if you withdrew $15,000/year over 10 years from your IRA/401k (assuming no new growth during that 10 years), how much of it will be included in your taxable income?

100% of every withdrawal.

For more information on the taxation of IRAs, I recommend:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590.pdf

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I tithe on my net income and then IF i get a tax refund I tithe on that as well. I have often pondered what it means to tithe on your increase....increase can mean many things.

If one owns a business and deducts expenses....example:

Bills Widget Shop Inc (Sub Chapter S)

Bills receivables for the year are $350,000

Bill receives an after tax income of $100,000 for the year and tithes 10% or $10,000.

Bill has operating expenses of $150,000 for the year.

Bill has (2) employees that he pays $25,000 each for the year.

Bill's Widget Shop has a profit of $50,000 that is payable to Bill as K-1 and pays tithing $10% or $5000.00

This is perfectly acceptable and normal.

What about Missions.....at $400.00 per month is this considered tithing? If you earn $10,000 for the month is your $1000.00 tithe reduced by $the $400.00 to pay for a Missionary?

Edited by bytor2112

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Between rollovers, gains and losses, and whatever else that can be thrown into the pot, will one be even able to calculate what part of their investment after retirement is a gain? Sure it might be easier if you never change jobs, but financial institutions only keep records for up to seven years, and I seriously doubt most people have those annual records over the course of 30+ years.

Additional thoughts?

Of course , look at your 401k statement it will show you your contributions as well as company match

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What about Missions.....at $400.00 per month is this considered tithing? If you earn $10,000 for the month is your $1000.00 tithe reduced by $the $400.00 to pay for a Missionary?

The "Donation Reciept" or the little form you fill out to go in the envelope with your tithing, Ward Missionary Fund & General Missionary Fund donations are totally 100% seperate from tithing.

If you are paying for your own mission or paying for your childs mission, IMHO that expense is seperate from tithing.

So no, you would not reduce you $1000 tithing to $600 because you paid $400 for a missionary.

That $400 is basically the cost-of-living .... food, housing/utilities, transportation, insurance, basic supplies ......

Perhaps the question should be reworded to:

If your income is $50,000 you pay $5000 in tithing ..... if you pay $5000 that year for your kid to be on a mission, does or can that $5000 come out of your income before or after you determine your tithes?

I.E. $50000 income, $5000 tithing, $5000 mission -or- $50000 income, $5000 mission lowering income to $45000, $4500 tithing?

Personally, I paid tithes on my income, paying for the missionary was treated as a cost-of-living expenses & had no bearing on determining income or the amount of tithing owed. We never even thought about whether that expenses should be pre or post tithing.

But that is something each individual needs to decide for themselves.

Edited by Sharky

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Update:

I want to share my thoughts and feelings about this experience and feel obligated to do so since so many of you took your time to give me an external opinion. I also want to thank everyone for your comments. I asked this question on this forum because I wanted an outside opinion. I am the type of person that is opinionated, but if corrected, I do not hesitate to make an immediate change.

* * *

After reading the posts and contemplating the information, I decided that daycare is providing me an increase. My daughter is nurtured, educated, fed, and loved in this facility. I told my wife yesterday that I agree with her on the subject and thanked her for helping me to understand. She smiled and held my hand.

I sense other changes in my reasoning. I am debating on whether to change how I treat my 401k. Currently I do not pay tithing on my 401k or social security. My plan was to pay tithing on both of those whenever i receive disbursements. Now I am debating whether this is right.

missionary0204;

Appreciate seeing the evolution of your thought processes on the subject.

Also appreciate the fact that you sought "outside opinions".

NOTHING can ever be changed (for good or bad) if we don't first question the way it is and then seek a greater understanding from "outside" of the current belief structure. ;)

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I wanted to post because I don't agree with the idea presented by many that we ought to be afraid of underpaying tithing. I cringe when I read this sort of mentality because it shows a complete lack of understanding of our Lord. Try to see it from His perspective.

You who are parents can understand this better, but even those without children can understand somewhat as well. Imagine you ask your child to do something, whether it is to pay 10% or clean their room, or whatever. Are you waiting to jump on your child if they slack off in the slightest? No. Most parents aren't. Usually, your child does their best and you help them do it over if necessary (which it usually is) and in the end, you accept whatever they have accomplished, even if it isn't quite up to par.

Why would a Father in Heaven who loves more perfectly than us imperfect mortals jump all over us because we unwittingly underpaid a little tithing? Or even if we paid less thinking that it was okay. He's going to accept our best, correct us lovingly if we are wrong, and in the end just be glad that we are trying to serve Him.

Do your best and expect the Lord to help you, not punish you. If you are afraid of being punished, you are seeing God as an IRS agent, not a Father. Let Him be your Father.

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I wanted to post because I don't agree with the idea presented by many that we ought to be afraid of underpaying tithing. I cringe when I read this sort of mentality because it shows a complete lack of understanding of our Lord. Try to see it from His perspective.

You who are parents can understand this better, but even those without children can understand somewhat as well. Imagine you ask your child to do something, whether it is to pay 10% or clean their room, or whatever. Are you waiting to jump on your child if they slack off in the slightest? No. Most parents aren't. Usually, your child does their best and you help them do it over if necessary (which it usually is) and in the end, you accept whatever they have accomplished, even if it isn't quite up to par.

Why would a Father in Heaven who loves more perfectly than us imperfect mortals jump all over us because we unwittingly underpaid a little tithing? Or even if we paid less thinking that it was okay. He's going to accept our best, correct us lovingly if we are wrong, and in the end just be glad that we are trying to serve Him.

Do your best and expect the Lord to help you, not punish you. If you are afraid of being punished, you are seeing God as an IRS agent, not a Father. Let Him be your Father.

Is it your "best" when you take "deductions" to pare tithing to the bone? Do you think God is just looking for a little effort, or do you believe the commandments we are given are supposed to change us in some way?

God's commandments are not arbitrary rules that he sets up as a sort of obstacle course and then gives us plenty of leeway so we can all get a medal. God's commandments are designed to change our very natures. They are designed to be hard. That doesn't mean we have to set out to make them hard, of course, but it does mean that we need to keep the commandments with exactness and trust in the Lord, not just assume that, hey, he's a merciful God, so we're all good.

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Is it your "best" when you take "deductions" to pare tithing to the bone? Do you think God is just looking for a little effort, or do you believe the commandments we are given are supposed to change us in some way?

God's commandments are not arbitrary rules that he sets up as a sort of obstacle course and then gives us plenty of leeway so we can all get a medal. God's commandments are designed to change our very natures. They are designed to be hard. That doesn't mean we have to set out to make them hard, of course, but it does mean that we need to keep the commandments with exactness and trust in the Lord, not just assume that, hey, he's a merciful God, so we're all good.

Well, that's a tricky question, Vort. See, my best is different than someone else's best, so while I could tell you whether I personally think it is my best to take deductions, it seems to me you are talking in the general sense and so there is no real answer. The answer depends on the individual.

I don't believe the commandments are meant to change us. I believe the atonement is meant to change us. I believe our adherence to the commandments are meant to show the Lord that we want to be changed. But I don't believe we have any power at all to change ourselves, no matter how exactly we try to follow them.

The sacrament teaches us this beautiful truth, about what our part really is:

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

This ordinance it perhaps the most important after baptism. That's why we repeat it every week. It teaches us that all God expects from us to fulfill our covenants at this point in our progression is to show Him we are willing to be obedient. How easy is that?

So, yeah, I do believe that He is a merciful God so everything will be good. I believe what He really wants is just for me to want to do what He wants me to. As long as I've accomplished that and tried my best, He'll make up the rest. That's what the scriptures teach, isn't it? That none of us are good enough, but He is?

So why sweat over a few dollars of tithing? Just do your best and trust that the Lord really did pay for your shortcomings. Is the Being who suffered beyond death in the Garden of Gethsemane so that you could have this chance on earth really going to split hairs with you over a few dollars? Is He looking for reasons to keep you out of the Celestial Kingdom? Or is He going to do everything He can, just like He did in that garden, to get you in?

Well, you know my answer. My Savior has never stopped working to help me return to my Father. I trust Him. I'm determined to do my best and believe that that will be enough.

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Good evening CalledToServe. I hope you are doing well. :)

The sacrament teaches us this beautiful truth, about what our part really is:

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

This ordinance it perhaps the most important after baptism. That's why we repeat it every week. It teaches us that all God expects from us to fulfill our covenants at this point in our progression is to show Him we are willing to be obedient. How easy is that?

So, yeah, I do believe that He is a merciful God so everything will be good. I believe what He really wants is just for me to want to do what He wants me to. As long as I've accomplished that and tried my best, He'll make up the rest. That's what the scriptures teach, isn't it? That none of us are good enough, but He is?

Just to point out the word "obey" or "obedience" does not appear in the sacrament. However, it does say "keep his commandments". This seems to support Vort's point more than it supports yours.

Here is what the words actually say we are to covenant:

We covenant to...

1. Take upon us the name of Jesus

2. To always remember Him

3. And keep his commandments

So why sweat over a few dollars of tithing? Just do your best and trust that the Lord really did pay for your shortcomings. Is the Being who suffered beyond death in the Garden of Gethsemane so that you could have this chance on earth really going to split hairs with you over a few dollars? Is He looking for reasons to keep you out of the Celestial Kingdom? Or is He going to do everything He can, just like He did in that garden, to get you in?

Yes, obedience is important and so is doing our best. But, we can't just brush off actual offenses against God's laws as if they are of no consequence. We ought not to deal with offending His laws so lightly. If a person is actually practicing the principal of obedience then they will have taken upon them the name of Jesus. They will be always remembering Him. And, they will be keeping His commandments. That is the requirement of true obedience. We must actually obey His commandments and we must actually be concerned when we disobey them.

We do agree, however, that we are incapable of such exactness alone. When we exercise faith, and when the stakes are high this IS HARD, and sacrifice everything so as to be aligned with God's will, then God will empower us to live His law with exactness. We must be willing to give up all unworthiness and all worldliness by willfully, conscientiously, and purposefully taking steps to align our lives with God's laws and willfully, conscientiously, and purposefully identifying flaws in our lives and removing them. We do this all simultaneously, and most importantly, while trusting in the atonement of Jesus Christ, knowing that we are only able to live His laws as He would want us to because He has sacrificed Himself for us and He sustains us through His grace.

Regards,

Finrock

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To be very simple, in response to the OP's question, I would say simply pray unto God and do whatever you feel is right. The great difficulty in asking advice is you will get a myriad of answers, some say this, others say that. In the end all that matters is your own heart and how it aligns with God's will - if you feel fine deducting those expenses before tithing, so be it!

I think sometimes we ask for advice either because we are hesitant to trust our own instincts, or, we want to rationalize doing what we know we should do. In either case, just pray to God and get His guidance, and follow accordingly - no need for any third-party "yea" or "nay".

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Thanks jb789!

I have found in life that knowledge and revelation usually do not just come by prayer. My mission president would always ask me what my opinion was. At first I would say, "Whatever you feel is right President." He corrected me by saying that it is important to gather as much information as you can on any given subject to assist the spirit in guiding you.

I asked for others to share their opinions because I love my wife and realize how serious she is on the matter. I wanted external insight, whether right or wrong, to help me analyze my rationale. Many posts have given me further insight and stretched my understanding on the subject at hand. I feel a confirmation in the direction I intend to head and it has brought my wife and I even closer together. She recognizes that I do not attempt to preside over our home with a closed fist. I believe that she loves knowing that my love for her keeps me humble enough to consider her concerns.

I really appreciate all of the comments so far.

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Guest gopecon

I wanted to post because I don't agree with the idea presented by many that we ought to be afraid of underpaying tithing. I cringe when I read this sort of mentality because it shows a complete lack of understanding of our Lord. Try to see it from His perspective.

You who are parents can understand this better, but even those without children can understand somewhat as well. Imagine you ask your child to do something, whether it is to pay 10% or clean their room, or whatever. Are you waiting to jump on your child if they slack off in the slightest? No. Most parents aren't. Usually, your child does their best and you help them do it over if necessary (which it usually is) and in the end, you accept whatever they have accomplished, even if it isn't quite up to par.

Why would a Father in Heaven who loves more perfectly than us imperfect mortals jump all over us because we unwittingly underpaid a little tithing? Or even if we paid less thinking that it was okay. He's going to accept our best, correct us lovingly if we are wrong, and in the end just be glad that we are trying to serve Him.

Do your best and expect the Lord to help you, not punish you. If you are afraid of being punished, you are seeing God as an IRS agent, not a Father. Let Him be your Father.

Does God appreciate our honest effort, even when we fall short? Sure, I'll agree with that. The key word here is HONEST. While tithing is not always easy to pay, it is a relatively easy standard to figure. You've either paid 10% or you haven't (leaving aside the net/gross on your paycheck debate). It isn't like controlling a temper, where we may try and frequently fall short of where we want to be. It's pretty black and white. To the parental analogy, I'm more inclined to look at tithing like brushing teeth than cleaning a room. It's either done or it isn't.

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