Tithing But Still Struggling: What Gives?
You’ve tried giving money to the church, but you’re not making progress in your finances. Now what?
Judy from Norway writes with an important question: What should you do when you’re tithing but still struggling financially?
I tithed 6 months in a row and during those months I was always behind in relation to bills. After I stopped things got better. How do you explain that?
A lot of people wrestle with this question. And too many out on the blessing of tithing because they get frustrated with the process.
The Bible teaches that all wealth belongs to God — we just manage it for Him. And God asks us to give 10 percent of all we earn back to Him. This 10 percent gift is known as a tithe and is practiced by many evangelical Christians.
There are a lot of reasons to tithe. Tithing is commanded by God in the Old Testament and re-enforced in the New Testament. Our tithing is important because the money we give serves as the primary financial resources for our churches.
God doesn’t ask us to tithe to weigh us down, though. Because the things that we do with our money help to determine the state of our hearts, tithing is a way of uniting our hearts with the heart of God. And God also promises that if we’re faithful to tithe, He will be faithful to bless us with greater resources because of it.
Many people do have trouble with this aspect of tithing. They find themselves tithing but still struggling and start to question God’s faithfulness.
Tithing But Still Struggling to See the Blessing
While many churches support the principle of the tithe, many only really talk tithing when they’re trying to raise money. This creates a series of troubling incentives: The pastor wants to get more money for the church, so he preaches sermons to encourage giving.
In order to incentivize giving, he needs to make the church members think they will gain financially from tithing. So he emphasizes the part about “return blessing” without really covering the other principles of tithing.
When that happens, people get the wrong ideas. They give with the wrong motives. And it usually doesn’t work.
What the preachers forget in this scenario is that although tithing involves your money, it’s really not about your money. God doesn’t need your money, but He wants your heart. And He knows giving regularly will bring your heart closer to His.
A Heart of Love and a Life of Blessing
At its most basic level, tithing is about love. We should give God what He asks of us because we love Him and we know He loves us. After all He has given to us, how could we withhold the little bit He asks for in return?
Unfortunately, too many people misunderstand this principle. They study the scriptures that promise blessing to tithers, so they decide to give because they’re looking for a blessing. And when they don’t become more financially prosperous, they decide the blessing doesn’t exist.
But God’s blessings do exist. In fact, they’re all around us. God doesn’t just promise to bless your money — He promises to bless your life. He wants you to have a thriving marriage, a happy family and friendships that build you up. He wants you to belong to a community of faith that supports and encourages you. And He wants you to discover the purposes He created you for to make a difference in the world.
If you’re only looking for financial benefit, you’re missing the greater good that God wants to do in your life through your obedience. He wants to fill your heart with love and fill your life with blessing.
A Budget Issue
If you’re tithing but still struggling financially, your trouble might have more to do with your own financial habits than God’s faithfulness. If you don’t have a solid budget as the foundation for your financial life, it’s going to be difficult to make the most of financial blessings. Most people that have a well crafted budget don’t find themselves struggling to pay bills at the end of the month, because they’ve already allocated the money to pay those bills before the month begins.
If the idea of building a budget or getting your financial life in order is overwhelming, don’t worry. I have created a free video series called “Stress-Free Finance” that will help you do just that.
These short, easy-to-follow daily videos will give you simple and practical steps to organizing your finances, getting out of debt and building a blessed future. Here’s a preview. You can join the free program by filling out the form right below the video.
Join me, and let’s discover a life of freedom and blessing together!