Should I Tithe On the Net or the Gross?

Here’s a FAQ about tithing: Should I tithe on the net or the gross?

The gross. Tithing on the net is not really tithing.

Here’s why:

The whole purpose of the tithe is to give God the first 10% of your increase, right? Well …

When your employer pays you–at least, in the USA, anyway–they pay you one amount (the gross, which is the entire amount you earned) and you take home another amount. The amount you take home is less than your total earnings (and is called the “net pay”) because your employer withholds taxes, health insurance premiums, and more from your check.

The thing is that they are only making those withholdings as a convenience to you. (Well, and because it’s federal law; but you’ll see what I mean below.)

When you live and breathe, there are certain bills that come with that:

  • Taxes, for one thing.
  • You owe the government taxes on the money you earn.
  • Health insurance is another one.
  • Life insurance premiums are another.
  • (Insert any other withholding amount that is taken out of your check before you get your net pay.)

But those are all amounts that YOU OWE.

Your employer is simply cutting a check to the federal government–or to your health insurance company, or whatever–on YOUR behalf.

So, if you only tithe on the net, what you are saying is, “Lord, I’ll give You 10% after I pay some of my bills.”

And if you do that, where does it stop?

If you give the Lord His 10% after you pay your taxes and insurance premiums, will you also wait until after you’ve paid your electric bill? Will you wait until after you’ve bought groceries? What about after you have saved for your retirement and for your child’s college education?

The tithe is 10% of your increase.

You increased the entire amount. God sent you the money to pay all your bills! Yay! …

… but your check was reduced because you owed the government some of it–and the government has the power to make your employer send them what you owe them directly.

Nevertheless, that withholding is still just a bill you are paying. It’s just the same as how your pocket money will be reduced because you’ll owe the phone company some of that money.

Therefore, if you want to tithe on your increase, tithe on the gross.

Does this make sense? If you have questions, please leave a comment below. And, if you want to read about the sixfold blessing of the tithe–and why tithing is NOT “the Law” in the Bible and IS still applicable today, read my article here.

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16 Comments

  1. Hello,Jami.
    I would like to hear your opinion as to whether you feel it is acceptable to use part of your tithe to help someone who is truly in need if you are low income and do not have additional funds for this purpose.
    Thank you.

    1. Good question, I would like to know too.

    2. Hi Lisa! The Biblical answer is no. The tithe is supposed to go to the storehouse, which is where you are fed spiritually. See Malachi 3:8-12.

      It is wonderful for you to want to help the poor and needy. We should do that, absolutely. But not with the tithe.

      The solution? Remember that God gives seed to the sower. 2 Corinthians 9:10 says:

      “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness…”

      So, since He gives seed to the sower, the solution is to go ahead and give God your tithe to the storehouse the way He says to. Then, pray and ask Him to use you to meet the needs of the poor as well. Tell Him that you’ll need the money to do it, and ask Him to give you additional seed to sow to that cause. He will answer! He always does! Be specific in your requests, and don’t let up in your praying!

      Great question! Thanks for asking!

      1. Am blessed with this answers Jane from Kenya

  2. Elizabeth Tuinidau says:

    Praise the Lord Sis Jamie!
    I always gave my tithe from my gross that I received from my salary.As soon as received my check,the first thing to deduct is my tithe even if the company already deducted what is suppose to be deducted.If it is a small amount or big it doesn’t matter to me,I have to give tithe.I didn’t worry about my payments or anything because my God knows all that,He knew what i’m going through in my family n we always live it to the Lord n we never ever leave any debts,because giving tithe in our family is like a part of our life n we make sure to give it with a joyful heart .Try Him as His word says..God bless all of us

    1. Thank you i will try God bless you

  3. I am a tither. This was a excellent way to explain tithing. God Bless you and your ministry.

  4. Briliiant revelation! Thank you for teaching us what is right! God bless you Jamie!

  5. Kate Kayira says:

    I was glad to read this article regarding tithing. My question is what if I give my tithe every month. Before I do that I pray over it, still I have hand to mouth income not enough to live on. Should I still tithe?

    thank you.

  6. Am blessed with this article i have not being giving my tithe to the store house . Have always ask myself to give Gross or Net. now its clear to me on how i should tithe God bless you so Much

  7. Am blessed by this sharing on tithing the gross income. I just learnt that i had to tithe my gross income last month so this time I have had a clear explanation of why it is so. Thanks for the clarity

  8. Sindani Geofrey says:

    Dear Jamie,
    When tithing, is one supposed to announce to the public? Is the church supposed to call for those with tithe to take them to the altar?
    God bless you Sister.
    Sindani Geofrey.

    1. Hi Sindani,
      The kind of giving that the Bible says not to mention is “alms” giving–where you are helping a poor person. You’re not supposed to do that publicly because it embarrasses the person who is receiving the alms. It’s fine for a pastor in church to invite people to bring their tithes and offerings to the altar. That’s what God told His people the Israelites to do in the wilderness at the Tabernacle, and there’s a lot of power in it.
      Hope this helps.
      Jamie

  9. Lucas Eklund says:

    Thank you for exampling to about giving to God 10% it really help. I was also wondering if you have any books to help me learn more

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