Bob... I am reading a book on tithing. I haven't been doing close to enough to what God asks. I am determined to tithe and gift. I realized a lot about ...giving when you don't make anything. My question is most people get paid a paycheck. I get paid and then I turn around and pay rent on my booth and supplies used. Do I give first fruits of what I earned before I pay my booth rent, etc. or after the booth rent?Answer from Pastor Bob:
Jennifer, that is a question many people ask. Many wonder if they should tithe on their gross income or their net income, which is a question similar to the one you are asking. Many would point out that Exodus 23:19 and other passages teach that we give our firstfruits to the Lord. Some would say that applies to the gross, meaning we tithe first, before taxes or before expenses. Whether or not it applies to the gross, I definitely think it means that we should set aside our tithe before paying any other bills.
Now to answer your specific question: I think you have to decide in your own heart what is right. Second Corinthians 9:7 (HCSB) says, "Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver."
God owns it all, and everything we have belongs to Him. But more than our money, He wants our hearts. It says in 2 Corinthians 8:5 that the churches in Macedonia gave first of themselves and then gave their offering.
If you resent God because you had to give the gross, then you cannot be a cheerful giver, and you should tithe the net. But if you feeling guilty for tithing the net, then you need to the tithe the gross. It all belongs to God, but we need to give it cheerfully.