How Do I Calculate My Tithe?

You can calculate your tithe according to the law, or the letter. But I would not call that tithing; I will call it legalism.  You can also choose to calculate it according to love. It’s strictly your choice.

During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods, and brought back his relative, Lot, and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.’ But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you; not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me – to Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them have their share.’”
~Genesis 14: 15-24

Abraham chose the way of love and gave God a tenth of everything that he got from the battle against Kedorlaomer. This is one remarkable thing about Abraham’s walk with God.  He walked with God in love, in total dedication, and in worship. He met Melchizedek – who we understand today to be Jesus Christ – on his way back from battle, and gave Him a tenth of all that he got from the battle. He didn’t even remember his allies, the cost of the battle, or the king of Sodom. He was totally focused on honoring God first.

Abraham’s wholehearted devotion and love for God marked his relationship with God at every step of the way.

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by…Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.”
~Genesis 18: 1-3, 7

Jesus showed up at his house in the cool of the evening, and he ran straight to the stall to get the fattened calf without thinking twice about it. He then told his servant, “Prepare it, it’s for the Lord.”

On another occasion, God told him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, and early the next morning Abraham took Isaac and zoomed off to obey God – that’s worship.

“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about. Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.”
~Genesis 22:1-3

This is what it means to worship God.

This woman with the alabaster ointment was also a worshiper.

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them…Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.”
~Luke 7:37-38

She used her tears, hair and alabaster ointment on Jesus’ feet instead of water, soap and oil prescribed by the law. Jesus’ host, Simon, did not even get any of those things. But the woman went over and above the things prescribed by the law – that’s worship.

To put it bluntly, whenever you hear someone asking the question, “How do I calculate my tithe?” you are looking at a stingy soul. I’ve found out that it is stinginess that makes folks ask some kind of questions. This question comes from someone who intends to sow sparingly; someone who doesn’t know God, and has no relationship or walk with God.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
~2 Corinthians 9:6

Sometimes, churches organize seminars for their members where they ask questions about tithing – particularly in the West. You see a bunch of them gathered, and they ask all manner of questions.

Should I pay the tithe before I remove my mortgage or after I remove my mortgage?

Should I pay the tithe before I pay my insurance premium or after?

Should it be after taxation or before taxation?

And when should I pay it?!!!

They’re just a bunch of stingy souls gathered in the church.  Sometimes, I pity their pastors. May you not be among them, in Jesus name. May you not belong to that group in Jesus name.

Generous and cheerful lovers don’t ask those kinds of questions. I use the word “lover” because usually when somebody is in love, you actually have to hold them back from being ‘stupid’. But if someone who claims to love you does a lot of accounting before they give you a gift of love, then you really have to check that love again.

I urge you to walk in the faith, love and worship of Abraham. If you’re passionately in love with God, if you’re absolutely devoted and loyal to God, as soon as money comes into your hand you will promptly give a tenth to God before you begin to consider any other thing.

There’s no need asking the question, “How do I calculate my tithe?” On one occasion, I listened to a pastor who was trying to answer that question. But in the end he got a headache, because someone asked the question in a tricky manner. The person asked, “What if as a business man I get money from the bank as a loan, and I get another one from the people I’m working for, which of them do I tithe?”

I want to make it easy for you today. The answer is simple: If it is within your capacity to decide what to do with the money, it’s within your capacity to give a tenth to God. And that goes for your school fees and any other thing.

It must be God first if you want to be a worshiper. The truth is that if you can’t give God the first of everything you get, is it then your life that you will give to Him?

Everything else can come later. It’s an attitude. It is the paradigm of those who truly love God.

Memory Verse:
2 Corinthians 9:6
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

Father, I choose today to walk in the faith, love and worship of Abraham. I will express my wholehearted devotion to You by giving You first a tithe of all that I get always, in Jesus’ name.