Giving Back: The Importance of Money with a Purpose
To tithe or not to tithe, that is the question? Or is it really?
As CEO of GrantWatch, I know that if everyone tithed, the world would be a much better place. We would be taking care of our own, our extended family members, our community, our poor, our hungry, our houses of worship, our educational system, and on and on. We would stop judging whether people deserved help, and would be giving because they need help.
The definition of “To Tithe” is to give a tenth of one’s income as a tithe. Tithing dates back to biblical times when people would give one-tenth of agricultural produce to charity.
What happens to your sense of self, to your ego, when you separate your earnings as the farmer did? All of a sudden you will be working at your job for a much higher purpose. You will be working, so you can give money away. You are the philanthropist!
In Spanish and romance languages, tithe translates to “diezmo.” Diez is the number “10”. Google any language and you will find the word “tithe.” Tithe in Hebrew is מַעֲשֵׂר [ma-asser], עֲשֵׂר is the number “10,” tithe in Arabic is عشر [eshr], and tithe in Hindi is कन [kan].
Becoming a Philanthropist
How do you become a philanthropist? Open an additional checking account and nickname it ‘Tithe’. Your employer can most probably send 90% of your salary to one bank account and 10% to another. With the belief that 1/10 of your income belongs to charity, you will be giving 10%, no more or less. You will never use that money for yourself. You never want to think of yourself as needy ever again — you are a GIVER.
I can tell you that I heard this wealthy man speak passionately at a convention of parents and educators telling the audience, that if everyone started giving, “we could heal the world!”
Afterward, I went up to him and asked him how he handles tithing as a business person with certain perks from the business in a gray area. I gave an example: like the hotel that may be paid from the business for your attendance at the conference, but you are actually staying an extra day and you brought your children along, etc. “How do you personally reconcile the tithing, since the hotel bill will not separate your family night from your business night? It doesn’t work with the two checkbook system.”
He turned to me and said, “I have an accountant and he knows that the one-tenth of my income has been entrusted to me (by God), to distribute. My tithe account is actually God’s checkbook, so my accountant knows to move one-tenth of funds in there and includes what may be gray or even light gray.”
I went home and took his words very seriously.
Not everything I personally give is always tax-deductible. However, if it is not, it is because I know the person who is struggling, personally. Otherwise, I like to give to a verified nonprofit with a charity tax ID number.
The Benefits of Charity
In 2021, the IRS allowed 100% of charitable donations to deduct from income. Tithing is a gift, that keeps on giving!
In one of my business endeavors, things were moving along favorably and suddenly things changed for no reason at all, and I felt like we were about to go under. \I remember hearing in a private school that charity can save someone from death. I called up my associate and said, “Quick go outside of the office and give a few dollars to the first person on the street, obviously in need.”
The business did not die that day. In having further communication, my associate confided in me she thinks it may have been her fault. She told me that with a major holiday coming up, she was worried she wouldn’t have enough, so she didn’t give out her tithing, She was holding it for her family.
A person might think that they do not have a job or enough salary to tithe. I have seen it time and again that the person who carefully tithes, will always have the funds to keep giving. A staff member said to me recently, “No one can predict the future, and sometimes natural disasters or bad things, do happen.” And I answered, “And if it does, then someone will be there to help you. That is how tithing heals the world!”
Imagine what we could accomplish? How we all can collectively work toward ending homelessness, how we can support the less fortunate through programs for workforce development, child care, mental health, and nutrition. As a society of caring individuals, we would be able to help each other and improve daily lives. Tithing and using our understanding of the community’s needs is a starting point. We are capable of doing this.
Tithing Starts at Home
I tell my grandchildren all the time: Every dollar you earn, ten cents is for tithing, 45 cents is for spending and 45 cents is for saving (10% off the top and save half and the other half to spend). If that is your habit you will be a wealthy person in deeds, you will not live above your means and you will never want for anything. (I also tell them to always pay their credit cards on time and in full).
I believe that people who carefully tithe, will always have funds to tithe.
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