Christian Real Estate Professionals : September 2007

Tithing While In Debt

Terry Schallert of La Crosse, WI wrote to Dave Ramsey Fans about Be Careful of Your Credit several months back. I'd like to comment about 2 comments made by Bob and Gabe recently.

Bob said, " I understand that Dave, like many Christians gives a tithe each month, but I don't understand this when you are in debt.  When you legally and morally owe other people money I don't think you should be giving it away.  I think you chose to give up that right when you went into debt. 

Also, if you are in debt you obviously cannot afford to pay for yourself, why should you be giving money away.  It is sort of like when you are on an airplane, they tell you to put your own mask on before you help other".

Gabe said, "I agree with Bob that one needs to take care of himself before trying to help others. Dave does get a little too preachy sometimes. According to the bible, a man that doesn't provide for his household is worse than one that disowns the faith. Now, I'm not saying you can't give a little here and there, but 10% would be out of balance IMO".

Disclosure: I am a Dave Ramsey fan. My family and I have been on the Total Makeover Plan since August 2005. We never acquired credit card debts, always paid them in full. But we realize we were still buying more than we need. So, we switched to an only cash-policy and keeping up with debt card transactions is alot less time-consuming than making sure the credit card payments are made on time. We had always lived on the philosophy of "living less than you make". It served us well.

I have a different outlook about Bob and Gabe's comments about tithing while in debt. While I understand that most Christians may not believe in this philosophy, I have experience this first hand. Coming from a non-Christian background, most of my childhood, I was taught to help myself first and the importance of having financial security. The more I grasp on this concept, the more I held on tightly to it. It was a difficult lesson learning to let go and it still is. But once I try relaxing my fist, and letting other priorities set precedence in my life, things around me start to make more sense. It is not something that one person can necessarily make you understand, it is an experience only you could feel it for yourself and make any sense of it.

In Christianity, we are taught that everything we have belongs to God. We are only here for a temporary moment and that this lifetime is a preparation for eternity in Heaven with Him. So, God owns 100%. Giving him back 10% (tithe) is just a small portion. Learn to make-do with the other 90%. Also, God in His almight power does NOT need our money. God provides for His kingdom when and where He sees fit. So, why would He require us to TITHE? Because He tries to change own personality of "grabbing on to stuff".

Editted (per Jason Romrell's comments:)

Is that irresponsibility on the debtor's part? I feel that that's really up to the debtor's opinion. If he/she has such high regard for responsibility, overspending on acquiring "stuff" perhaps may not happen in the first place. If this mentality does not change, there will not be a change of heart and a change of attitude towards spending. Buyers will always buy so if they choose not to tithe (assuming that they are taught to do that), more than likely they have another reason to use that 10% more because surprise, surprise, Christmas is in December, or opppsss...... I didnt realize that school starts in August and it's July now. My kids need new clothing because they outgrew them.

The Million Dollar Question is, "Should You Tithe While You Are In Debt?" The Million Dollar Answer is, "ABSOLUTELY".

You tithe yourself out of debt. In the hard process of learning where your money should go, you set priorities and along the way, hopefully you realize that financial is so much more emotional rather than mathematical.


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Comment balloon 25 commentsLoreena and Michael Yeo • September 25 2007 10:21AM
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