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Friday, April 15, 2011

Tithe the Firstlings Not The Leftovers

Series on Tithing
Tithing is 10 Percent of "Income" Cash or Otherwise
Tithe the Firstlings Not The Leftovers
"Money and Bank Accounts Are Not His Richest Blessings"
The Richest Blessings
More Than 10 Percent

In his recent General Conference address, "The Lord’s Richest Blessings" by Elder Carl B. Pratt addresses tithing by telling a story of his grandparents. He draws the following implications:
The next thing I notice about that story is that my grandparents paid tithing regardless of the poor condition of their family finances. They knew the Lord’s commandment; they likened the scriptures unto themselves (see 1 Nephi 19:23–24) and obeyed the law. This is what the Lord expects of all His people. He expects us to pay tithing not from our abundance nor from the “leftovers” of the family budget but, as He commanded anciently, from the “firstlings” of our income, be it scarce or abounding. The Lord has commanded, “Thou shalt not delay to offer the first … fruits” (Exodus 22:29). It has been my personal experience that the surest way to pay tithing faithfully is to pay it as soon as I receive any income. In fact, I’ve found it to be the only way.
Giving God the leftovers rather than the firstlings leaves open all sorts of rationalization such as is evident from the report on the evangelical study:
One respondent who does not tithe said that he gives more or less depending on the needs and his situation. . . 
“. . . Personally I believe that the New Testament teaches ‘proportionate giving’ that may be more or less than 10 percent depending on income. In my home we’ve always given more than 10 percent,” Anderson said. “Increasingly churches offer financial courses and teach on stewardship. My hope is that in coming years, we will see more generous, proportionate, cheerful and sacrificial giving among American evangelicals.”
Let's make sure we pay God first. 

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