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Since I recently shared the first budget for Andy and I since getting married, I wanted to explain a little bit about why we are choosing to tithe 10% even though we are in debt. I’ve posted my thoughts on tithing before here and here, so if you’re interested to see how my perspective has changed, I recommend reading those posts to start out.
First off, for those of you who don’t know what tithing is, it’s giving 10% of your income back to the Lord. Some people choose to use the word “tithe” for offerings, which are gifts to the Lord that are not a full 10%. In this context, I mean tithing as giving a full 10%.
Why do many Christians tithe? Because we believe God has blessed us with money, and we want to honor Him by giving money back to him. There are many Bible verses that relate to this topic, but some of my favorites are Malachi 3:10– Bring the full tithe into the storehouse (…) and put me to the test, says the Lord (…) If I will not (…) pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need— and Luke 6:38– Give and it will be given to you (…) For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
I’ll be honest: I love money. I love budgeting and spending money and everything about money. But I also know that I need to keep my love of money in check, and not love it more than I love the Lord (Matthew 19). After all, the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
So, when Andy and I first came up with our budget, we decided to tithe a full 10% of our net income. For us, it seemed like another great way to honor God and for me especially, giving away money on purpose seemed like a great way to change my heart.
Tithing is the first thing we do each month when we create a new budget. I love dreaming about all the things we can do with our meager tithe. We get to sponsor my Compassion child, Veronica Sarah. We can help our church start a new campus at Fort Campbell. We can give to people in need right in our own community.
Strangely enough, I find that I don’t miss our tithing money at all. When money was tight, Andy once suggested cutting out the tithe, but I prayed about it and felt that God would bless us because we are choosing to honor Him. Sure enough, we were able to make ends meet for the month, and even have a little left over!
I firmly believe that God will still allow us to pay off our debts even though we are tithing. Addition: I wrote this post weeks ago, and the day before it was scheduled to publish, God sent us this $1,400 financial miracle in regards to one of our debts.
Honestly, when I think back to the time I didn’t tithe and said it was so I could pay off debt, I found myself not using that money to pay off debts but instead to buy books and things I didn’t need– basically, I wasted it. This time, I want to do things right and not let my financial situation be an excuse to skimp on the Lord.
Tithing is not for everyone. If you’re doing it just to be blessed yourself, it’s for the wrong reason. Tithing is a commitment to the Lord and decision that you will serve His kingdom.