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God's Math: Off the Top
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By Dick Mackie
 
I had not known of the tithing principle until I started attending the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The call to return one tenth of my income for tithe and to give additional freewill offerings was a major challenge to my thinking. After wrestling with the question, I compromised and began returning ten percent of my after-tax income. I rationalized that the taxes were automatic and were not really mine to administer. In reality, excluding taxes was just another way to keep more money for myself. To ease my conscious, I tithed any tax refund I received.
 
I did this for several years, but something (or Someone) kept nagging at me that this wasn’t right. Then I was given a copy of the book Over & Over Again! Reading others’ testimonies of their experiences with tithing convinced me that the tithe is to be ten percent of everything, before taxes or any other consideration. Now I had no excuse. I realized that tithe wasn’t a subjective amount that could change according to my convenience. It was not a freewill offering that I could calculate as I chose. It was one tenth of whatever the Lord gave me, even if the bills were many and the money was tight.
 
I wanted to be at peace with God. I didn’t want to wrestle over this issue anymore. I started to tithe the full ten percent off the top of my income. My wife tithed ten percent of her wages also. At about the same time we reduced our use of credit cards, buying only what we knew we could pay for. That year our income actually decreased, while our charitable contributions increased by almost 24 percent. Yet surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), we seemed to have more cash available, and we accelerated payments on our student loans. It now appears those loans will be paid off in half the time that I had originally calculated.
 
For me, tithe is not a matter of giving God His due. It is an issue of trust: how much I believe God can and will take care of me. If I trust God with what I hold precious, whether my family or my business, He will be a faithful partner with me
 
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8, RSV
 


Dick Mackie is the controller at Vail Rubber Works, Inc., in St. Joseph, Michigan. He is a member of the Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
 
Source: Over & Over  Again 2