I don’t know why i have never done this before, but i finally started a new blog category listed on the right that will list many of the questions i receive through email or elsewhere about stewardship and tithing.
Here’s the first question for this category.
Q: We need to get caught up on our debts and pay them off. My husband insists that we still pay tithes and offerings instead of paying them off. Is he right?
A: Absolutely not.
How can you serve both the master of debt, and also serve God with gifts? You can’t serve God while you are a slave to debt. There is no guarantee of a reward of money to pay off your debt just because you paid the tithe and offering first.
My parents paid tithing for 20 years, and i can tell you that in the end they were still in $30,000 in credit card debt. Their tithe over those years was equivalent to about $100,000. I believe a wise steward would pay 70,000 in tithes and offerings and used the other 30,000 to stay out of debt.
God doesn’t look at the amount. He looks at your heart, which will fall in line with a sacrificial giving attitude. But he’s not happy with poor stewardship regardless of your worthy giving habits. Remember, it was the servant in Matthew 25:14-30 who gave 100% back to his master that was considered a wicked servant and a bad steward.
Living in debt, outside of investment purchases such as schooling, mortgages, transportation, and business purchases, is poor stewardship. I’m not trying to get you to be divisive with your husband, by all means, come to an agreement together; but please be persuasive that tithing does not exempt you from the curse of poor stewardship.
In the end. Remember that you can’t properly serve both masters.