Friday, April 20, 2007

Tithing while in Debt?

Do you believe it's okay to tithe while in debt? Why or why not?

I've looking at this question on a few message boards, and have gotten a huge variation of answers. I think it's okay to tithe while in debt as long as you are not behind on any payments. I think tithing can be a line item in a budget. But it is NOT reasonable while you are behind on your payments to the CC, utilites, mortgage, etc basically if you are not current with your bills. Any debt not current needs to be focused on and brought current before a budget can be set up. Because otherwise you are dealing with late fees, interest you can't predict, etc. So once you have a balanced budget and are able to properly budget every dollar tithing while paying off debt is great. I also feel if you cannot pay for services rendered, then you need to stop tithing.

There was an argument that you should never stop even when times are hard. Even if you are not current you are thanking God. He deserves your giving because without giving to him, you aren't showing appreciation. And if you can't live on 90%, 100% isn't going to help.

What is your opinion and why?


jbbaab said...

People think that we are going to be judged for not giving enough money to the church. others think that all debt is evil, and won't even take out a mortgage on a house, but i'm under the notion, that you can't really answer that question. We will be judged on how we were stewards, not on how much we tithe or what we owe the bank. If i am in debt and i pay the church. God will not say "well, he's a plus with church giving but he's a minus with debt." God ultimately will look at your giving and your debt(if any) and judge your wisdom and discretion with the talents he's given you. Whether you should give to the church while under bad debt(non investments such as a -house, car, school, business. . . ), well that's between you and the Holy Spirit. I guess you should take care of the root of the problem first before you go on saying that you should pay off the bad debt.

Zachary said...

I do not follow my own advice here, so take this with a grain of salt: it is always best to trust in the Lord our God to provide for us, finances and all. So I would say go ahead and tithe if to do so is on your heart. Prayer will point your heart in the right direction.

plonkee said...

I don't see debt as being morally wrong, so of course its permissible to tithe whilst still being in debt. Whether its helpful to you, depends on your own makeup and blanket answers probably have as many exceptions as they do applications.

JadeEJF said...

We tithe, but we've never been in debt (well, discounting mortgage and car payments... but we pay off our credit card bill every month and have no outstanding student loans)... all of that is to say, though, that we have used some of our tithe to help people get *out* of debt. The Bible says that we give the money to God, but it doesn't specify that you have to give it directly to your church (even though I support that model, and stick to it most of the time). We're now giving 10% to the church, and a number of smaller donations to individual missionaries. But we have in the past, taken the tithe out of the church to help out a friend or family member struggling financially, and we did it believing wholeheartedly that God would think that was just great :)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have not been tithing while paying off our student debt, but I have always been uncomfortable with our lack of tithing. His argument was that we pay 6.5% interest on any money we tithe because that is our interest rate on the student loans and we could be using the money to pay off the loans. To ease my feelings of guilt, we have decided to determine the official poverty line for the two of us and divide by 12. We will subtract that amount from our monthly income. Then we will subtract any medical expenses for the month. What is left over we determine to be disposable, luxury income. Ideally all of the disposable income goes into the student loans, however, if we spend any of the luxury money we will tithe on that amount spent.