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Tithing at Your Death

What does the Bible say about tithing at your death? Many Christians have never considered this question. In fact, most church teaching about tithing centers around giving 10% of your paycheck—in other words, we are conditioned to think about giving in terms of our income. Scripture, however, reveals that we are to consider tithing and giving in terms of our wealth which includes all assets. Do we have a model for this kind of thinking? Consider the early church in the book of Acts:

“…and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own…there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales…”
(Acts 4:32 , 34)

If God really is the owner, and we are his stewards (managers), how can we reorder our lives to be in the center of His will?

Practical Help

The truth is that many people are wealthiest when they die. As a footnote, this is usually when they need it the least! Many never plan to give to Kingdom building the largest assets in their estates. These could include:

  • Homes
  • Businesses
  • Retirement accounts
  • Life insurance benefits
  • Tangible assets

It would be great to consider a tax-advantaged gift during lifetime. There are planning techniques available to maximize: 1) income during your lifetime, 2) the tax benefit, and 3) the gift. However, if this is not practical, give a gift to ministry at your death. This can easily be accomplished in a will or a trust. Proper planning will also maximize an inheritance for your family. It is estimated that 70% of Americans die without a will. Either you or the government will direct the distribution of your estate. Just think of the trillions of dollars that could be used for funding the Great Commission—don’t let it go to waste!

Giving a gift of appreciated assets acknowledges that God owns everything we have. Having our estate plan in order tells our loved ones that they are important to us. You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead. Be a Kingdom builder!

The views are those of Bruce Olmstead and not those of Summit Brokerage Services. Investments in securities do not offer a fix rate of return. Principal, yield and/or share price will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and, when sold or redeemed, you may receive more or less than originally invested.  No system or financial planning strategy can guarantee future results