Volume. XX, No. 10
Sunday, 04 September 2005

Practical Tithing

Elder Khoo Peng Kiat recently spoke on the subject of Giving and Tithing at Hope Church. While we all know that it is required of us to give a tenth of all that we earn to God, it is extremely difficult to do so from a practical point of view. There are many reasons for this difficulty – mostly due to our lack of financial planning, or overspending. My purpose in this article is to give some practical tips to tithing and financial control.

Tithing Before Tax
One of the most overlooked concepts to tithing is that it has to be done before tax. In the old testament, tithing applied to produce such as livestock, grain and fruits. “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.” 2 Chronicles 31:5. As currency is now the standard form of value exchange, we must honour the Lord by giving a tenth of our salaries to Him. However, this is to be a tenth of your salary before tax is accounted for. Jesus said in Matthew 22:21 in response to a question about whether taxes should be paid, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” Here, it is shown very clearly that you are to give God what rightfully belongs to Him and taxes are totally exclusive of what you tithe. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me…In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:8

When Tithing Gets Hard
In Australia, taxation is high because we enjoy many social benefits such as healthcare and pensions. Tithing becomes difficult when the sum of tithes and taxes causes financial problems. Average income earners between AUD$21,601 - $58,000 per annum, are taxed at 30%. If you add an additional 10% for tithing, it means that 40% of your salary is gone before it ever reaches your bank account! If you are fortunate enough to earn over $70,000 a year, you are taxed at approximately 48%, meaning that inclusive of tithing, 58% of your income is spent on taxes and tithes. For many people, the additional 10% levy is large enough to cause financial issues – especially for those servicing mortgages.

Practical Tip #1: BUDGET and Take Control of Your Money
Use a spreadsheet software to create a budget. The easiest way to start a budget is to work out what current expenses you have, listing everything from mortgage and loan repayments, to petrol, food, clothing, insurance, movies, presents, council rates, electricity, phone and tithing all into a spreadsheet. List absolutely everything that you spend money on, and break it down into a monthly budget to see just how much you spend each month. This is a good exercise because you soon realise just how much unnecessary money you might be spending and will find ways to minimise that. If you are spending more than you make, then you should rethink what you’re doing with your money.

Practical Tip #2: Use Internet Banking and Telegraphic Transfers
“ If you don’t see it, you won’t miss it.” The tax department uses this mantra to take money from your salary through something called PAYG (Pay As You Go), where tax is automatically deducted from your salary before it is deposited into your bank account. You never see the money that is paid to the tax office, therefore you won’t miss it. Similarly, you can employ the same psychological trick on yourself by using Internet Banking to program a telegraphic transfer automatically every month, tithing automatically on every payday directly to the church bank account. This has worked wonderfully for me, as I simply don’t see the money and therefore don’t miss it.

Practical Tip #3: Clear Credit Card Debt
If you are in credit card debt, make a plan to pay off that credit card in instalments as quickly as possible and use your budget to ensure that you do not fall back into debt. Also get rid of any unnecessary credit cards. You realistically only need one card.

Practical Tip #4: Spend Wisely
Once you have your budget and plan in hand, make sure you stick to it. Spend wisely. All money and wealth is a gift from God, and we must be good stewards in the manner that we spend it.

Practical Tip #5: Don’t Procrastinate, Just Give
One of the greatest tests of your faith will come when your conscience speaks to you, telling you to tithe, while finances are tight. It will be a very difficult choice between giving up the luxuries of the world and giving to God. This is a very real and practical test of your faith.

From my personal experience in these situations, I can testify that God has always provided abundantly. Even when tithing meant that I had almost no money left in my bank account, God has blessed me immensely through other means. My basic necessities have always been met and I have found joy and happiness in countless other things that are not related to money. While it was admittedly difficult at the point in time to part with the money, I can’t say that I miss it at all. Many times, it comes down to simply shutting out all objections and procrastination (which is undoubtedly planted by Satan) and just giving what is rightfully God’s.

To further strengthen your faith at the time of giving, consider Matthew 6:31-34. God will provide, so don’t worry, just give what belongs to Him. “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

A Final Word About Tithing
God gave us the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. How much is salvation worth? Can 10% of your salary really justify or pay for your eternal salvation? Can your life’s savings buy salvation? What about your life? At the end of the day, money is just a means. Money never made anyone happy, and the Bible states that “the love of money is a root of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question Question 10: How did God create man? God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.

Please pray for God’s healing for Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Dn Edwin D’Mello, & Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Thomas Tan & Kevin Tye; Daniel Budiman, & Ethan Lov; Sisters Myung Ki, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law, Bee Giok Khut’s mother, Kimmy Chong and all others who have been afflicted with winter illness. "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:6).

Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions: Rev & Mrs David Koo and their ministry; Van for Preacher Chang’s Mandarin Ministry (Sihanoukville); Rev & Mrs Luke Kim (Veal Renh), & Khmer students studying at FEBC; Ps Ki & Rev George van Buuren as they prepare to go to Cambodia; b) Bro Surish Dharmalingam – Lord’s provision for Laos missions; c) Children’s Ministry - Bro Hai Seng Lim, and his preparation to come to us for VBS; d).Expectant mother – Sis Michiko Law; e) Journey mercies - Bros Dillon Chang, Raphael Ng (Adl) & Daniel Volvricht & Sis Rachel Volvricht (WA); f) Resident Pastor for Ebenezer B-P Church (Melbourne).

Praise and Thank God for – a) YAF/Teens’ Prayer & Share, FBCA Class & BSAG Prayer Meeting/Bible Study this past week; b) Journey mercies - Dn Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (KL), Bros Dillon Chang (Whyalla) & Raphael Ng (Quorn); c) Healing for Mr David Carpenter; d) Fathers’ Day - fathers in our midst. May God bless them.

6th Anniversary Thanksgiving Today: Congratulations and God’s blessing on Rev & Mrs Errol Stone & brethren of Faith Presbyterian Church - Perth.

Sunday School teachers required: Please notify Dns Edwin D’Mello or David Yeo if interested, & come to an information session on 18 September.

BBK Class & Cambodia Missions 2006: Please see Ps Ki or Elder Lee if interested.
Vacation Bible School 3-7 October. Theme: “Picture of Christ in the Tabernacle”. Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim. Helpers required. Invites available on literature table.

Roster for next quarter being prepared. Please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know if you will not be available to serve in the Oct-Dec quarter.



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