Should A Business Tithe?

Should A Business Tithe? April 25, 2011

I was thinking recently about the act of giving on a personal level and had a thought about businesses tithing.  Should Christian business owners tithe from business funds?

When it comes to tithing individually, I don’t stand by one hard and fast rule of tithing 10% because we’re called to give with a cheerful heart and our goal should be to give generously – and that might mean more than 10% for some!

I’ve had a few individual businesses (LLCs) and I’ve given from the income generated – but it was all my income anyways.  For businesses with more than one employee, owners, stockholders, creditors, etc., I think the principle of tithing should still be done on an individual basis.

We read in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 that “God loves a cheerful giver.”  I have a tough time applying this verse to a business, because the decision to give would fall on a select few.  Those few may be cheerful in their giving of business funds, but it might not represent the view of everyone who has a stake in the business.  Even in a Christian organization, it’s difficult to give charitably without some pushback from individuals who would rather give to a different cause or…see the funds reinvested…or, yes, even prefer a raise.  The principles outlined in the post 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Tithe, would be a good starting point for any business owner with charitable intent.

My opinion also has two sides: private companies and public companies.  If a private company wishes to give away 10% or more to charitable causes, that’s their business.  As long as the investors are on board and the board of directors approves it, I’d say go for it.  As for public companies, I think it might be more of a challenge to be charitable with funds because of the differences in charitable convictions among those who have a stake in the business.

I’m not suggesting that businesses (public or private) should stop being charitable.  I just wanted to address the question of ‘should a business tithe,’ to which I would say no – each individual receiving funds from the business should make that decision.  Should a business still be charitable?  Yes, I think that it’s perfectly acceptable for a company to give back to the community or to support other causes.  However, I do not feel that a business should feel obligated to give a tithe or gift because of a tithing principle upheld by individuals.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think a business should ‘tithe’?

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