Over time different business owners have asked me how they should approach tithing as a business owner.
Questions like “Do I tithe from my business?”, “Do I tithe on profit or turnover?”, “Do I tithe before major reinvestment or after?”, “Do I tithe in a year I’m in debt?”. All such questions are very good ones.
This blog is not just a compilation of my thoughts but a brief summary of the thoughts of other business owners and pastors I have talked this through with. It is targeted largely at people for whom profit and turnover are 2 very different figures. If you are a business owner working on your own, offering a service, based out of your home with little overheads then your fee income will be pretty much the same as your business profit, so simply tithing each month off what you receive is for sure the easiest thing to do.
There will, of course, be many issues on this matter that come down to one’s own conscience. So what you read here is simply some thoughts and guidance to help steer in the right direction. It is still down to your own interpretation in your own business context.
The one thing, however, for us all to understand is that we are to honour the Lord with our tithe (Proverbs 3:9). We must come at the topic of tithing with a genuine desire to honour the Lord. To give Him all of the first 10%, not the last 10% or a modified 10%. So as we read this let’s have a generous filter on not a stingy filter on. You find your business prospering if you turn on this generous filter.
Here are a few key pointers:
- The biblical requirement to tithe is a requirement on us as individuals. From the tangible increase He places into our own hands we give Him back the first 10%. It is hard to interpret this for businesses but we will attempt to do so.
- If you receive a salary and or bonuses from your business then tithe on this. If you don’t pay yourself a salary or are at the stage where you are unable to then it will come down to your own judgement as to what money in the business is a blessing to you and hence you tithe on. You would simply tithe on the amounts you withdraw from the business to sustain your daily living. It is of course healthy at a certain point in the business to determine a set remuneration you will take from your business.
- What if I make a profit after paying my salary? As you have tithed on your salary you don’t need to tithe on remaining profit. However, I know businesses that choose to give generously from their profit. For example into a community need, a mission activity or Church building fund. In fact sowing from your profits is a good thing in the same way it is good for an individual to give over our tithe as it is at that moment you begin to activate a spirit of faith and generosity which you will reap later. When considering how to give from profits you will be aware that there are some years profits need reinvesting back into the business and that there are sometimes other business stake holders who have a legitimate requirement from it.
- What if I am in debt? A business or individual should not stop tithing whilst they are in debt for as long as you are receiving some remuneration then the first 10% of that remuneration belongs to the Lord. I would strongly encourage careful stewardship through these moments and so therefore I would not encourage significant giving over your tithe at such a moment. But don’t stop tithing.
I truly pray you find yourself blessed as you work through the issue of business finance, tithing and giving.