From the First Fruits

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Proverbs 3:9-10

Tend to your relationship with money

I have a confession to make. For years–decades even–I have been a decidedly imperfect tither. Throughout all of those years, I had perfectly good intentions, but somehow I had allowed my lesser self to control my better self, convincing it that I should do the old “tithe on the net” trick. You know what I’m talking about. For years, earnest Christians have asked themselves whether they should tithe on their net paycheck, what they actually receive, or the gross, before the government gets their mitts on it. I even conned myself into believing that if I tithed on my tax refund then I was all square. Frankly, I’m better at math to believe that!

I’d hate to become a stumbling block to anyone who is now, in good conscience, tithing on their net paycheck. It’s definitely better to give based on the paycheck amount than not to give. But I’ve become convinced that there’s no way that I personally can be a first-fruits giver, a giver in faith, if I don’t look at the total amount, before taxes, of my check.

God has given me what He has given me, and it is enough and to excess when I trust Him with that. Sure I can rationalize an after-tax tithe, but in my heart, I know that it’s all God’s money.

  • In what area of your life, including finances, do you struggle to trust God’s provision?
  • In what ways do your possessions own you rather than the other way around?
  • When you pray about your giving, does God give you peace about how you relate to your finances? If not, what will you do about it?