Tithing is one of the more interesting commandments. It is one we always use as an example of being able to live a commandment "perfectly". It’s simple, figure out what your increase annually is and pay 10%.
Ok, maybe that part isn’t so simple, but I’m not here to discuss that aspect of tithing. I don’t care if it’s wages, gross, net, include gifts, inflation, what’s an increase, etc.
I once had a Stake President that challenged us to pay tithing based on how much we wanted to earn. The premise is simple, you want to make more, pay more now and let the Lord bless you.
I have some thoughts about this. Once I pay more than 10% it isn’t really tithing anymore, it’s a contribution. I make contributions to the church all the time, temple fund, missionary, PEF, and Fast offering. It appears to me that if I pay more than 10% then I’m making a contribution to the tithing fund of the church. The same as if I pay 5% into the tithing fund, it’s a contribution – unless I’m a full tithe payer then it’s not considered a contribution it’s considered tithing.
I always try and cheat on my tithing! Since this Stake President’s challenge many years ago I have tried to pay more than 10%. Does it work? Sometimes….sometimes my business ventures have succeeded and made money…sometimes they haven’t and we’ve lost a bunch of money. At the end of the year I can honestly say that my tithing contribution and my income have never matched up "right."
I’ve thought maybe what I should do is wait until the end of the year, let the accountant do his thing and tell me how good/bad I did and pay my 10% based on his figures. Or I could pay a little each month and then make a year end adjustment. Or I could continue to overpay….maybe I should put the overpayments into a more specific catagory. Would it be more effective in the PEF or Fast Offering.
I’m not complaining, I realize I get blessings, tons of them, obviously however, not all are directly income oriented. In my mind I can’t "afford" not to contribute. Should I change where my contribution goes, when I pay it, or just pretend everything is ok? Does anyone else go thru these types of mental qymnastics just for paying tithing? What’s going on with my mind?