Should You Tithe When You Are in Debt?

And how much should you tithe? 10%? Less?

Conventional wisdom would lead one to believe that tithing while trying to repay debt is counterproductive to the goal of being debt free. If you put the money you would normally tithe toward debt repayment, you’ll be out of debt more quickly, right?

Conventional wisdom, however, is not Godly wisdom. The Bible says “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8) In Malachi 3:10 the Bible says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Test me in this. That’s a pretty strong statement. Test me in this.

I’ve taken God up on that challenge many times. When my daughter was born, my husband made less than $20,000 a year, and I was a new stay at home mom. We still tithed. And we never went without anything we needed. Sure, we didn’t have a plasma TV or a brand new car. But we had food, shelter, and clothing. And we appreciated it.

So yes, I believe that Christians should continue to tithe when they’re paying off debts. The Bible commands it, and I would never advise going against God. Beyond that, giving creates a mindset of appreciation. By giving away some of your money, even though things are tight, you become more aware of other people’s needs. When trying to climb out of debt, it’s all too easy to become completely focused on your own problems. By noticing the needs of other people, you become more thankful for what you have, even if it’s not a lot.

And God will bless you for continuing to tithe. Here’s a true story from my life. When my daughter was 3 years old, I had a roll of film developed. The pictures weren’t very good, and I realized my old cheapo camera was dying. I was sad, because we didn’t have the money for a good camera, and I wanted to be able to take good pictures of my daughter’s growing up years. I remember standing in my kitchen, thinking to myself that I could buy a great camera for $150. I quickly put the thought aside, because there was no way we could afford to spend that much money. I didn’t tell anyone about my thoughts. Not even my husband. I didn’t want to discourage him.

Three days later I went out to check the mail. There was a letter from the church. Curious, I opened the letter. It was a check for… guessed it…..$150. We got a new camera and did some much needed work on our old car. God is concerned about the extras in your life. He will bless you richly. Sometimes the blessings will come in life lessons: perseverance, trust in Him, faith. Those are the lessons that come only from hard times, and they’re necessary. Other times he will bless you with seemingly frivolous things like unexpected money for a new camera. This is when we learn that God cares about the details in life.

If we rely completely on ourselves to provide for ourselves, how will we ever learn to trust God for our provision? I urge you Christians to tithe and then trust God for your provision.


By , on Jul 8, 2007
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Deborah:

    My husband and I started a few weeks ago to tithe the correct way. What ever is our gross, that is what we tithes on. We use to just give an amount that we felt was ok. Tithing from our net amount.
    But I read a book by Dr Leroy Thompson, title, Money Comesth To The Body Of Christ. And it changed the way we did tithing. God don’t want our second best, he doesn’t give us his second best nor his left overs, so why should we disrespect him like that, we cannot fool God in anyway. We gave above and beyond our tithes and I knew we were a little over our heads in due bills.
    My husband was somewhat aware, I try not to worry him in a whole lot of home money problems, since he works very hard daily, even hours of over time to keep this family going. So what a wife to do!
    But throw it all in, and prove God. That is what he says in Malachi chapter 3. And its one thing about God he don’t lie, can’t lie. So he knows all of our hearts towards him. I came to him reminding him of taxes on some land that I owed and mortgage, insurance, car payment etc. and after reading Dr.Leroy Thompson book I gave out of my needs. Believing God to intervene and let me tell you how he did it ok! October had 5wks and that helped a lot. 2 days before I mailed my check off of around $673, unaware that the land in which I was catching up my taxes on and bring it up to date, was also needing serious cleaning. My husband and I was on our way to his brother furneral and I happen to call my Aunt in which her property is right beside mines, she had been asking me for sometimes when was I going to clean up that property. It was in serious condition. So look what God did. She was at the post office and just start to have a conversation with this old white man, and of course they started to talk about Jesus and at the end of conversation the man told my black aunt since she was involved in teaching sunday school he had a donation for her and later brought it to her home. In that envelope was $300 one hundred dollar bills. They talked a few min. and he looked over at my property and told her that he clean property like that, and she stated that “Oh” that my niece property, which is me. He said I don’t care who it is, it look bad and I will bring some help back and clean it up. My aunt says she had left the next day for a whild and returned and that property was nice and clean. The man returned and finished the cleaning. My aunt said she thank him and told him she wanted to thank him for thd donation and he stated that God gave him a Spirit of Giving and he want nothing in return and left.
    That not all my husband brother had no insurance and God showed my husband and I that He covers ever situation when we tithe like we are suppose to believing that he will provide. My brother in laws employers cover everything. I saw that day heaven open up and it wasn’t in black in white. It was in LOVE. Those white folks was all christian folk that show their love for my brother in law in everyway. It was a fairy tale story made in heaven. I can’t tell it all, I tell everybody when I tell this story that all my brother in law had to do is Die. God made provision for it all. Why because all we heard was that my brother in law was a good christian man. God takes care of his own amen. But all I want to say is that go aheah and toss it all in the offering plate and watch God meet your every need. Your blessing will unravel right in front of your eyes. So make up your mind right now and prove God with your tithe and offering just give out of your need. Matter of fact give because God has been, Is beening and will continue to be good when you love him by putting him first.

  2. jointheir71:

    I really needed to read this, because I’m in a tight position as well. I’ve never stopped tithing, even though a lot of things seem to be closing in on us. I know that it all comes down to trusting that God is who He says He is and understanding that He’s not capable of lying.

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