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Since when is it “OK” to stop tithing to the Lord in order to pay off your debt?

Posted on : 06-08-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Money

Tags: , , , , ,


A friend of ours told us that he and his wife have been not paying tithe and have supposedly been using it to pay off debt (all the while they continue to have cable TV, cell phones for their kids, consume coffee daily at the java place…).

They told us that it was advised by Crown Financial and frankly, I was in shock and disgust… so I did some searching…and look at what I found:

The principle of tithing is just that—a principle. God is looking for the right attitude in a person’s giving.

If there is not a true heart-felt willingness to give back to the Lord a portion of what He has entrusted to us, giving tithes upon tithes would be without purpose.

For people who feel that they cannot afford to give the full tithe because they have too much debt, yet they are willing and want to tithe, perhaps there is an option that can satisfy both situations.

Because God expects us to remain true to biblical principles, if we have made prior vows (in the form of taking on a debt) to man before making a vow to tithe to God, God directs that the vow be maintained in order to present a good witness (see Proverbs 22:1).

In such cases, the tithe should come from the money not already pledged to creditors, but available to disperse.

However, a commitment to give to God would certainly take precedence over any payment to creditors for debts contracted after a pledge was made to tithe.”

Well, Crown Financial “sort of” says it’s ok to send your tithe to your debts, but only if you were not previously tithing. Hum… way to take that concept and distort it dear friends of mine. However, I disagree with Crown Financial and Dave Ramsey also disagrees with their stance, here’s his take:

Many people have observed that after they stopped tithing, their finances seemed to get worse.  In the Book of Malachi, God promises that if you do not rob Him of your tithing, He will rebuke your devourers and protect you.

If you cannot live off 90% of your income, then you cannot live off 100%.  It does not require a miracle for you to get through the month.  I think that if you sit down and look at your budget, you will see that you can make it while giving at least 10%.  Read the Bible and take from it what you will, and if you tithe, do it out of love for God, not guilt.”

I firmly believe that the number 1 “line item” in your budget (as a believer) is your tithe, plain and simple. And, a tithe is 10%, not 2%, not 8%, it’s 10%. As a believer, there is no excuse to not be giving the Lord back 10% of what He’s given us. If you have nothing, you can give nothing but your time. If you have little, give back 10% (or more in offerings) of what the Lord has provided you. If you have lots, give 10% plus offerings. When you are in debt, you must be giving your 10% to the Lord and working out a plan to pay your debts to others.

We often have the mindset that it’s “our” money when in fact, it’s God’s money and he’s letting us have some. Tithing is also a matter of obedience, yes it is also a matter of the heart, but first and foremost it is a matter of obedience (which is a direct matter of the heart). God even challenges us to test Him in this (Malachi 3:10). When you do not tithe, you are robbing God (Malachi 3:8). Out of love we obey, and our heart must be right when we obey. Obedience is done with a joyful heart. A heart full of love for the Lord.

We tithe, no matter what our debt is, no matter what other obligations we have. Right off the top of all money that comes into our home (including tax credits!!) we give 10% right back to our local church. We don’t think of it as lost income, it’s just an automatic thank you gift we give with all income. We want so much to do more and we are working towards that day. We have been able to do lots in the past, just not recently and I really don’t like that feeling.

Besides, if there is money enough for anything besides shelter, basic food and clothes, there is money to tithe, period. Yes, that means if you have cell phones, cable, internet, coffee, things you could sell, etc. then you have enough to give back to God.  If you aren’t tithing, as a believer, in no way should you be paying for any additional items, including a “blow” fund.

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Copyright 2009, Freedom and Happiness

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