Should You be Tithing When You Can’t Pay Your Bills? » A Speciale Life
Tithing when you can’t pay your bills
It’s a topic that many of us struggle with. We believe in the tithe and understand its significance, but how do we tithe when we’re broke? It’s a question that has been bothering me for a long time: should you tithe if you can’t pay your bills?
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I’m currently reading a book called A lot of things in the book made me think differently. I’m not saying I agree with everything the book discusses because, let’s be honest, how often do we agree with every statement that someone makes? Particularly when there are nearly 500 pages of statements? ( You can also read Randy Alcorn’s shorter book Money, Possessions, and Eternity.
Taking Care of God’s Money
Truth #1: Tithing Literally Means a Tenth
I recently discovered a new fact: tithe means tenth. So, if you only give 3% because that’s all you can afford, you’re not tithing! Furthermore, you should give a tenth of everything – even what is taken out before insurance.
Alcorn also says that you should tithe what is taken out before taxes, but I’m not sure about that. Does tithing the amount before taxes mean we don’t have to tithe from our tax return? However, if you think of taxes as paying a bill to the government, it makes sense to give a tenth of your gross income.
Tithe from gifts and unexpected income as well. Tithing should consist of one-tenth of everything.
Truth #2: Will You Die Living on 10% Less?
What does 10% mean to you? A tenth is a lot for many people who are already struggling to pay their bills. Giving away 10% of your income when your bills are at their highest is illogical. This is where our faith is lacking. But, when you think about it, what will you have to give up in order to tithe? Why can’t we tithe if it’s not something you need to live (food, water, shelter)?
Truth #3: It Isn’t Your Money; It’s God’s
This one hit me hard with the guilt. As he talks about the joy of giving consistently, I don’t think Alcorn wants to guilt anyone into tithing. However, it is critical to understand that everything we have, including our money, is not ours. Giving 10% is not giving 10% of our money; it is returning His money. We have 90% of our lives to live the way He wants us to, but if we use 100% to live the way WE want, we are stealing at least 10%. We are stewards of God’s funds, not our own.
Truth #4: Your Debt is Not God’s Fault
To pay off debt, we’re following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. My husband and I are solely responsible for the debt we have accumulated. It is the result of our selfish and materialistic desires, as well as a lack of financial knowledge when we were younger. Sure, my first credit card was maxed out on college textbooks because I couldn’t afford them on my own (and neither could my single mother), but I recall making numerous purchases on credit cards that had nothing to do with school.
On weekends, I wanted to do things with my friends, so I used my card. When I reached adulthood, I discovered that I could get a percentage of my bills paid back – what a deal! It wasn’t a big deal because I wasn’t paying the exact amount I charged back to the card. None of this was Godly or for His benefit. It is not His responsibility to repay. It’s all mine.
Truth #5: There are Consequences to Not Paying the Tithe
It’s unlikely that not tithing will have any earthly consequences. If you don’t tithe, you won’t be denied eternal life in heaven – once you’re saved, you’re saved! Then there’s the notion that there are consequences for failing to pay your bills – tithing when you can’t pay your bills makes no sense.
I recently discovered that Christians who live and give better earn more authority and rule in heaven. Of course, there is no jealousy in heaven, but those who live according to His Word receive greater rewards.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering, “If there’s no jealousy, why should I care what rewards I get in heaven?” Would it matter if someone had more power than me? No way in hell! But my Earthly self is curious…what kind of rewards are there?
Truth #6: Tithing Your Time is Not the Same
Giving your time is important and required… However, it does not replace financial tithing. God wants us to give so that others can meet Him. Could churches help missionaries in third-world countries who have never heard the Gospel without your financial tithe? How would we show Jesus’ love to those in need without your financial tithe?
We already believe as Christians that God will provide. If we don’t tell him, how will the homeless man know who is taking care of him? Tithe both financially and with your time. Both are critical to Christ’s mission.
Tithe. You’ll be Rewarded.
When it comes down to it, tithing when you’re broke requires faith. I recognize the difficulty. I’ve also been there. Then I prayed fervently about it. I also prayed that my daughter would sleep in her own bed all night, which she hasn’t done in a long time. I felt like my prayers had been answered the next morning when I woke up without a toddler in my bed.
He appeared to be sending me a sign that I should simply trust Him to take care of things. Maybe that sounds crazy to you, but it was the answer I needed to begin tithing. Have you had anything similar happen to you? Have you ever tithed when you were struggling to pay your bills? How did things go for you? Tell me in the comments!