There it is, I said it. I think this is the first I’ve ever heard myself go straight out and say it. Stop tithing, and Get out of debt. I don’t want you to give another dime until all of your unsecured credit is paid off. I’m not talking about your house, or your car, or your school loans. I’m talking about all the store and credit card debt. Get out of Debt!
“No one can serve two masters”. Although that statement in the context of scripture was not referring to debt, I believe it is applicable as a stewardship principle. It’s hard to serve God with your money while you are still a slave to debt. It’s also hard to serve God with your money while you are a slave to possessions as well. I know there are some legitimate people who are not slaves to possessions but have some debt lingering over them. In those cases, the simple answer is to get out of debt, and then you can give God your money.
Do not bow to the pressure of the tithing threats while you are in debt. God does not judge a person by what they’ve given; He judges them by what they’ve kept. You need to be a wise steward, and part of that is making the decision to get out of debt, and then give to God. Actually, here’s a thought that just ran through my head. Who said that paying your bills and striving to get out of debt is not giving to God? The misconception is that paying your bills or striving to be debt free is not a spiritual way of giving. Are you somehow dishonoring God if you pay off your debts? Why would God be more honored if you paid the parishioner, but were late on your bills? Where is the honor in that?
God judges us based on our stewardship. I’ve stated this so many times as an example, but it is so relevant: The servant who gave 100% back to the master when he returned, was the one considered a bad steward. A good analogous word for “steward” is “investor”.
In the end, the truth is we will be judged by our investments. Whether we are in debt or not, God will burn up our works like wood, hay, and stubble if we’ve invested in worldly things. If you are struggling financially, and cannot get out of debt no matter what you’ve done, then stop giving it away and start investing in the plan to get out of debt. If you have trouble with debt because of self-control, then get some accountability, get some instructions, follow a plan to stop spending; and start investing in a debt-free life. Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial offer good programs to help you get out of debt. Don’t feel guilty about putting your money towards debt instead of in the offering plate. God will honor your decision for being a wise, investing steward.
Remember, God’s blessings are reaped naturally by a cause and effect more than they are reaped miraculously, such as money falling from the sky. You will reap what you sow. If you sow a debt-free life, you will reap the rewards that come from it. The natural reward of a debt-free life is not money falling from the sky. However, I wouldn’t pass that up.
There are only two paths you can take toward Godly stewardship. One leads to debt as your master, and the other path leads to financial freedom as your master. Which path are you going to choose?