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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I’m sorry for my broken English but I read you every day. My question is: I paid full tithing when I worked but now I’m retired because I’m sick. Do I need to pay tithing on my retirement also?

Pedro

 

Answer

 

Estimado Pedro,

I find nothing in the scriptures that says anything like “Thou shalt pay thy tithing until thou dost retire from thine employment.” We are commanded to pay tithing on our increase, and there is no mention of any age or time limit. Whatever we receive at any time in our lives ultimately comes from the Lord. He has called us to be stewards over the bounties of the earth that He puts into our hands, granting us the free disposition of that portion of His wealth that he grants to us, with the sole provision that upon receipt of His largess, we return back to Him the tenth part of it.

As a word of explanation, the increase for a wage earner would be defined as his gross salary, not his net income. Companies often deduct part of an employee’s salary for retirement, taxes, etc. Thus, they are acting as an agent of the employee to dispose of part of the employee’s income, and that portion of his income also should be tithed.
If a person is operating a business that has associated with it business expenses, the cost of doing business is not considered as income to the business man. His increase would only be whatever would accrue to him as personal income from the business.

When people retire, they normally continue to receive a retirement income. Social Security income comes immediately to mind. For this case, let’s assume that the wage earner has contributed to Social Security during his employment time, and has paid a full tithing on his gross income. The employer deducts from the employee’s salary his Social Security contribution and sends it along with the employer’s portion to the Social Security administration. After retirement, the retired employee begins to receive Social Security income. Part of that income comes from his own money that was sent to the government by the employer, and that portion of his Social Security income is money that has already been tithed. The Lord would not expect the person to pay tithing twice on that part of his income. How that would be resolved in each person’s case is left as an exercise for the reader.

Now, as you know, the same portion of income, ten percent, is required for tithing regardless of the income of a person. For people with very low incomes, that may appear to represent a challenge. But in truth there really is no challenge. It doesn’t even take any faith to pay one’s tithing. Let the tithing payment be the very first monthly check that is written. There will always be money for that. Where faith come in is trying to live for the rest of the month on what one has left.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

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