Are there things God's called you to do that feel like burdens or demands? The thing is, God does sometimes ask us to do hard things. But in all things, He loves us generously—and He wants us to reflect His character.
One way we can do that is through generosity. That’s because God is the ultimate giver: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NASB).
God knows we’re at our best when we give.
We can understand giving on three levels: small offerings; tithing (the scriptural mandate to give 10% of your earnings to your local church); and radical, mind-blowing generosity. But you might wonder, is it okay to put giving on hold when you’re throwing every extra dime at your debt?
You might be surprised at my reply. Are you ready? The answer is no. Here’s why:
The Bible never mentions anything about hitting the pause button on tithing. And in Malachi 3:10, God actually promises to bless us if we faithfully tithe.
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Here’s something else: Many people have noticed that when they stop tithing, their finances seem to get worse. Whoa. That’s why you shouldn't pause it to pay down debt. You can probably find other areas to trim if you try. If we can’t live off 90% of our income, then we probably can’t live off 100% either.
Here’s what you do: When you make your next monthly budget, pay God first. Then use what you have left to pay yourself. Take care of food, utilities, shelter and transportation. Then attack those debts.
And as you give, remember to do it with a full heart. As Paul told the Christians in Corinth, that’s what God’s concerned with most:
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV).
There are so many benefits to giving. Always. We encourage you to continue doing it even as you dig your way out of debt. Once you’re debt-free and you’ve taken care of your own household’s needs (1 Timothy 5:8), you can blow people away with your generosity, and maybe even win a few hearts for Christ.
Now that’s what God loves to see.
Learn to live in the freedom God created you for—to grow, serve and follow His call. Find out more in Financial Peace University.