Oh, the topic of tithing—it’s enough to make even the most cheerful giver clutch their wallet a little tighter when the pastor starts talking about it. And when it comes to something kind of murky like business tithing, there are even more questions and not enough answers (but we’re going to try). Whether you’re someone who gives freely or finds it hard to part with a dollar bill—this one’s for you.
What Is Tithing?
Before we go deeper, let’s talk about the basics first. A tithe is giving away 10% of your income to your local church. And get this—the word tithe actually means tenth in Hebrew. Mind. Blown.
Scripture tells us, “A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy” (Leviticus 27:30 TLB). And Proverbs 3:9 (NIV) says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.”
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Don’t let all the fruits, veggies and grains talk trip you up. You don’t need to run to the produce aisle at the grocery store before you can tithe or anything. That’s just a way to explain that “firstfruits” means giving your best right off the top. So instead of getting your paycheck, spending it throughout the week, and then seeing what’s left over—you should give first. Before you ever do anything else with your money.
How to Pay Tithes as a Business Owner
We’re not here to get into the theology of it all, but technically speaking, there’s nowhere in the Bible where God asks people to tithe from their business. There’s no biblical mandate to do it. It’s just not there. That said, He does ask us to give 10% of what we earn right out of the gate. So if you own the business, what are you supposed to tithe off of?
When the money comes home to you—meaning it’s profit that you’re going to pay taxes on or it’s salaried income out of your business—you can tithe on those profits. It’s kind of like tithing on business, if you want to think of it that way. But you’re tithing on your business income as a part of your income. As an evangelical Christian, that’s what Dave Ramsey does with his business, Ramsey Solutions, too.
Giving With a Cheerful Heart
Here’s the bigger thing—if you’re asking this question about business tithing, then clearly you’ve got giving on the brain. And is there ever a bad time to give? Well, no. Giving is never a bad idea. Unless you took it to the point where you’re totally irresponsible and you put your business or your family in jeopardy by giving. But that’s pretty extreme. So if you are in a place to give, then do it. Giving is the most fun you can have with your money—hands down.
As Christians, we step back and we say that we don’t own anything. God owns it all. God gave you the profits. And we’re just asking Him what He wants us to do with His stuff. And when you view money like that, it’s a whole lot easier to part with it, give it freely, and actually enjoy it.
If you have more specific questions about your business and need some really targeted insight, check out EntreLeadership Elite. We’ve got coaches that would love to get some answers in your hands and help you drive your business in the right direction.