Q: Why should I tithe?
There are no shoulds to tithing. You may, however, wish to open up a channel of greater abundance for yourself, and tithing is an effective and proven way of doing this. The abundance comes through Spirit and takes many forms. Remember, you are tithing for you, for your own growth and upliftment, and Partnership with God.
Q: How much should I tithe?
The tithing law is to give 10 percent of one's increase back to God, with God being represented on the physical level by the source of one's spiritual teachings — often a church, synagogue, mosque, or a spiritual teacher. For example, for those people studying in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), the source of their spiritual teachings would be MSIA, so they would tithe 10 percent of their increase to MSIA.
Q: I have heard that many people do not claim tithing as a tax deduction. What is the reason for this?
Many people have decided not to claim their tithes as tax deductions. This is because the money they tithe does not belong to them in the first place; it is God's, and they prefer to have their blessings come through grace rather than have the reward come through a tax deduction. Of course, it is up to you to decide what you want to do, since tithing is a matter between you and God.
Q: I received a car as a birthday present. Someone mentioned that I needed to tithe on the value of the car. I don't think this is correct since I didn't receive any money. Am I right?
No, you are not correct. You tithe on your increase (anything that is added to you). This means that you tithe not only on money, but also on the value of gifts you receive. This does not include loans, since loans are not an increase because you still owe that money. However, if the loan is forgiven, you would tithe on the forgiven portion.
Q: You mean that if I receive a shirt as a gift, I tithe the value of that?
Yes, since the shirt is your increase. The attitude here is one of gratitude for the gift. People who have really lined up with tithing find that the blessings line up right behind them.
Q: I stopped tithing and have found myself living in lack, and now I want to tithe again. Is there anything I have to do to renew my commitment?
The commitment or covenant is between you and God, so the act of tithing renews the covenant automatically. Because of the sacredness of this covenant, it is important that when you re-commit you bring yourself back into the flow of tithing by making sure you maintain the commitment. It is not something to mess with.
Q: Is it okay to miss a tithe? I sometimes get insecure about the large bills I have to pay.
Let's look at it this way: By tithing, you have set up a channel for God's abundance. This abundance comes through in Spirit's timing. Why not keep this channel of blessings continuously open? Your tithing is your statement that you are open to receive. Tithing works from inside you, so you may want to sacrifice your insecurity for the joy that comes with giving. As Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2 RSV).
Q: What if I don't have the money to tithe?
If you have no money, then obviously you can't tithe. People who tithe regularly and with the joyful attitude have found that they always have the money, and the blessings are pouring forth for them. You see, tithing is about putting God first in your life. Put God first in your life, and you can count on God doing his part. You will know in your heart what you are to do. Trust that and don't hassle yourself.
Q: Do you suggest making tithing a lifelong habit?
Yes. Tithing is easier when it is done regularly upon receipt of income. An attitude of gratitude will usually come present as 10 percent is given to Spirit. As regular tithers have found, the blessings do pour forward, even in the testing times. This demonstrates that Spirit keeps its promise to us for life; all we are doing is choosing back.
Q: Do I tithe on the money I receive net (after taxes) or gross (before taxes)?
I've heard of both being done. When you tithe to yourself (a money magnet), you tithe on the net amount of money you receive. When you tithe to the source of your spiritual teachings, you tithe on the gross (before taking out taxes), the idea being that you give to God before you give to the tax collector.
Q: What is a money magnet?
Money attracts money. Why do banks attract more money? It's almost as if they have a magnet there because money is a magnet. You can establish your own money magnet by tithing to yourself, in cash, every time you receive money, whether it's a paycheck, a bonus or a gift. Tithing to the source of your spiritual teachings and to yourself is part of the process of prosperity that is your heritage. For more information on money magnets, see John-Roger's book “Wealth & Higher Consciousness.”
Q: Should I keep a money magnet, or should I tithe?
The optimum thing is to do both. However, if you were to do only one, I would suggest you tithe. Donations are man's law, tithing is spiritual law, and the money magnet is a law unto yourself.
Q: Why is it that when I tithe to the money magnet, it's on my net income and when I tithe to the source of my Spiritual teachings, it's on my gross income?
The gross represents the totality of Spirit; it's what God has given to you. The net represents what you use for your own Soul development.
Q: What is seeding?
Simply said, seeding is the planting of what you want to receive. “seeding says, 'I know this future event will come through God's bounty.' That could be money, better health, a change in job, and so on. How does God bring that to you? However God does it. And rarely does it come exactly the way you expect it.” “seeding and tithing are the left and right hands of God.” For more information on seeding, visit the seeding section of this website.
Q: I've been tithing on my gross salary. I also get a lot of benefits from my company, like medical insurance and dental insurance. Do I tithe on that, too?
No, that's not an increase to you. It's a benefit to you. You don't get the increase. You can't tithe on what you don't get.
Q: So you wouldn't consider that a gift?
Not if you haven't used the medical insurance or had dental work, so what's the increase?
Q: What if I go to the doctor and I get 80 percent of the fees covered by the insurance company?
It's not an increase. You never saw it; it went to the doctor. If the insurance company paid 110 percent, you got a 10-percent increase and you would tithe on that amount.
Q: I was in a car accident, and I've been reimbursed for the medical expenses.
That's not an increase. It's matching funds that went out. If you get a loss settlement, above and beyond it, that's an increase. If you have to use that money to fix your car because of the damage from the accident, that's not an increase.
Q: Just to be clear on the tax deductions: Say I deduct a donation to a university. Is the amount of the tax savings that I receive an increase?
No, that's not an increase because you have already tithed on the gross amount of income that you received.
Q: So, if I go to a doctor and he doesn't charge me, would that be an increase?
Technically, if you receive lasting benefit from going to him and he would have charged $40 and he didn't charge you and you receive the benefit of healing and health from the chiropractic adjustment, $4 is tithed.
Q: I'm in business for myself. On what amount do I tithe?
There are two things to look at here. First, there is your salary or what you draw from the business, and you would tithe on the gross amount of that. Then there is the profit the business makes. If you were in biblical times and you sold a horse, you would tithe on the increase, which would be the selling price of the horse less the cost of the horse. If we take that into modern times, you would probably tithe on the difference between the selling price of your goods and the cost of those goods to you. This is sometimes called the gross profit.
Q: What if I am a lawyer?
Then you would probably tithe on your gross income.
Q: Can I deduct overhead expenses in computing my tithe?
Technically speaking, no. However, it's up to you because you're the one tithing. Tithing is between you and God, and the most important thing is that you do it joyfully and unconditionally. God knows the intention of your heart. So the key is to keep things straight in your heart and you'll be fine.
Q: What if I am given a scholarship or somebody gives me a room to stay in free of charge. Do I tithe on that?
Technically, yes, but on the value placed on it.
Q: My husband recently lost his job, and we are short of funds. Shall we tithe?
Yes, on what you continue to receive. Tithing has to do with your personal relationship with God. Tithing with the correct attitude is an affirmation of that relationship. It has been set up for you to receive of God's abundance.
Q: I don't work, and I don't bring in any money. All the money I get is from my husband's work. And when he gives me money for the supermarket, I tithe 10 percent of that. Is that correct?
Not really because that's not an increase to you. It's the supply for the family. If he gives you money for you, then I'd tithe on that. The money he gives you to buy food is not a personal increase. You're just acting as a steward, taking the money and buying supplies for the household.
Q: What if he gives me money for clothing?
That would be different because that's your increase. However, if you're buying clothing for the other members of the family, that's not your increase. That's for the group's increase.
Q: I tithe and I give just because, to me, that 10 percent is God's. I just write out my check, and I don't think about being joyful or anything else because that's God's, and there's not too much to think about. Is that being a joyful giver?
Yes. Joyful giving isn't doing, “Yay, team! Cheer, cheer, cheer! Fight for the Lord until you die. Rah, rah, rah!” It is the essence of what is in your heart that counts.