If you are in debt, you may be wondering if you should either tithe or pay more towards your outstanding balances. Having good reasons to choose which path to follow is important. We have put together a few tips to help explain why you should tithe while in debt, how much you should tithe, and how to manage your tithe percentages until you are no longer in debt.
1. Why You Should Tithe While You Are In Debt
People who tithe while in debt are those who have committed to a routine that includes giving to the church. You must tithe for a number of reasons including:
- You are committed to living biblically
- You are giving to a church in need of your money
- Your pastor and church staff live off the tithing the congregation does
You should always tithe, but you need some tips on how to do it in the right way. It is important to do something that will line up with your budget, and make sense enough for you to stick to a formula that includes tithing. Everyone tithes in a different way, and it is smart for you to choose one that works for you and your family. Do not pick a formula someone else uses without testing it yourself.
2. What Percentage Should You Tithe?
You must tithe a percentage of your monthly income where you feel comfortable. You could tithe while in debt with as little as 1% of your income, but you must use a percentage you believe is commensurate with your situation and the needs of the church. Ultimately, the amount of money that you tithe is between you and God.
Of course, you may always change your percentage as your income increases or improves, but be careful not to change too often as doing so may indicate your budget needs reevaluation. Considering using a slightly higher percentage as a starting point for your tithing and move lower if needed. A low percentage rarely increases and could leave room for adding additional debt without a disciplined approach to debt reduction.
3. How Long Do You Tithe A Smaller Amount Of Money?
The people who tithe a smaller amount of money could tithe at this level for as long as they need. The purpose of tithing in this way is to remain faithful to your plan to tithe. You might feel like you will never get out of the debt that you are in, but it is wise for you to make a plan so that you know how much you are planning to tithe from year to year. Someone without a plan will stay at his or her lowest tithing level without ever moving forward.
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4. How Do You Reconcile This With Your Church?
You might feel that you need to speak to your pastor or church leadership based on your plan for tithing or you may want to be held accountable to them for the amount you want to tithe. This is actually encouraged. By confiding in your church leadership, you will find the support and encouragement to reach the goal of reducing debt. Just remember to let them know when you want to increase the amount of your tithing any time you feel you are in a better position in life.
5. What Is The Goal?
For most churches, the goal is to tithe 10% of your income. If you are unable to reach this goal today, make a plan to get there. You might feel like you will have a hard time getting to this goal, but by following a plan, you will be able to move from the lowest level possible to the 10% target.
Make goals for every year. When it is feasible, bump your tithing up by 1%-2% each year until you reach 10%. Moreover, if you get a better job, start making more money, or are able to pay down debt, consider greater or more frequent increases. You may also wish to tithe a certain percentage when you get bonuses or monetary gifts from family.
6. Who Should Tithe?
All active members of a church should tithe to the church so they can financially support the staff and church programs. This includes tithing while in debt. If you do no currently attend a church, you may want give to a church community near you, or to a church you used to attend. Lastly, you may want to pick a charity who would take your tithe.
7. How Do You Organize Your Finances
You must organize your finances so you are taking out your tithe every month. You could pull the money from your paycheck or cash your check to take the money directly to the church. Create a plan just as you would set an allowance for debt, food, and fuel that includes your tithe. The plan should be simple where tithe and debts payments come first. The plan also needs to be effective where debt is reducing every month, emergency funds are maintained, and food is kept on the table.
Yes, you should tithe while in debt. However, you need to have a plan for the tithing that will help you move from your lowest possible tithe to a higher tithing level over time. Give to your church so they can support the mission of the denomination. You will feel more empowered knowing you are doing something that helps your church, its members, staff, and the community. Make your own formula, stick to that formula, and make your plan for the future.