How Do We Tithe If We Are In Debt? - Part II
First, we have to start out with a committed heart to surrender to a Matthew 6:24 life. We have to put God back in charge. By surrendering to this shift in priority, a new ordering will occur in your life which will create a domino effect putting all of our priorities in order.
Second, we have to put together a game plan to completely dissolve that one thing which is robbing us of our freedom to serve. When you are in debt, you loose your freedom spent making sure the bills are paid, figuring out how to get out of debt, making monthly expenses work, and working extra hours to make the additional money necessary for paying everything off.
Third, we take care of what is written in 1 Timothy 5:8 and take care of the needs of our family. We have to take care of our liabilities and daily living responsibilities such as electricity, food, water, paying back debt, etc. Those are all “non-negotiable.” At one point, tithing will be a non-negotiable at the top of the list. For now, we have to work to make that a reality.
Without a doubt what I am writing could be taken out of context. So give me a chance to fully explain what I feel led to write. After all, aren’t we just supposed to put God first no matter what and trust that He will take care of us? Do we take care of our liabilities and put God first at the same time?
You have to divide everything between non-discretionary and discretionary spending. Electricity for your home, car and home payments, feeding your family, etc are expenses that are set in stone and are non-discretionary. Then there is eating out, the movies, spending money on clothes, etc. If you haven’t been tithing and everything you are constantly cutting everything close, you have pretty much put yourself into a place where you can’t do anything about the non-discretionary items. You have created those expenses and liabilities. However, everything else is at your discretion.
For example, let’s say that you have $200 left over after the non-discretionary items have been paid. Personally, from that I feel you start the process of giving with the full intent of getting that $200 up to a full 10%. I believe it would be complete sacrifice if this individual gave the full $200. That is all that is left over for anything discretionary.
I have never thought that God wants us to jeopardize a mortgage payment or going into default to make sure that we tithe 10%. That would be telling God ahead of time that He is supposed to take care of these liabilities since we started tithing. Tithing and or giving in the proper way has never been about setting the expectation of what we are to receive. It is a spiritual discipline and important form of worship that gives priority to our relationship to God.
Just automatically starting out to tithe, might be tough for most Christians considering the financial state of most people. Although we are specifically talking about money, it takes the surrender of putting God first in all areas of our lives. We can get started with surrendering everything else right now and start the process of getting money in the full surrender position as liabilities get cleared up. We are charged with paying back everything that we owe.
Getting out of debt and living a Matthew 6:24 life is a process. It is a process of deleveraging our hearts, bad habits, the wrong dependencies, and our bank accounts. It is a process that God uses to teach us who we really are and who He wants us to be. It is a process of transformation of our lives to where we can completely put God first with His money. Learning new spiritual disciplines is a process that has to be practiced and surrendered to on a daily basis. At some point, we right the ship and it becomes second nature. The key is being committed to the process of getting rid of all liabilities so that you can give full freedom to God’s will for your life.
The objective is to take our selfishly driven finances and transform them into Matthew 6:24 finances. It is a process that you start with a steadfast intention on starting the process of giving and sacrificing what you can through your discretionary income and getting all liabilities eliminated so that God can have 100% of your freedom. After all, we are also asked to be good stewards over our time as well.