Do you believe that you must tithe 10% off the top, and if you do not tithe off the top, that prayers will not be answered? I had someone tell me one time, that if I did not tithe the 10% off the top that God would not answer my prayers. I myself, do not believe that. I believe that as long as you give cheerfully, no matter how much it is, God will answer your prayers.
I have two thoughts on that. First, I believe absolutely the directive that the Lord gave through the prophet Malachi concerning tithing, which we find in Malachi chapter 3, verses 8 through 10.
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I know of many people, including myself, who have been blessed as described in the tenth verse. The Lord literally does open up the windows of heaven and pour out blessings upon us that there is not room enough to receive.
Second, I’m not sure what you mean by “off the top.” For instance, if a business owner receives a gross income of $100,000 per year and has expenses of running his business of $30,000, his real increase for the year is $70,000. His tithing should be paid on the $70,000. On the other hand, if you’re talking about wage earners who receive gross income and then there’s withholding for social security, heath insurance, etc. and their take home pay is less than the gross amount, you have to ask yourself, even though you have been deducted that amount that goes to the government and/or other agencies, are you benefiting from those withholdings in a round about way? These are very personal issues that one must work out for themselves. Go ask your Bishop or your Stake President for further advice. They will council you in a way so that when you pray to your Heavenly Father for answers, you will not feel like you have cheated the Lord. After all, we owe Him so much more that we could ever imagine or pay.
I would suggest that you exercise faith in this wonderful law and pay a full tithing. and see how the Lord will bless you as promised.