|FAQ ID # 1602|
|Last Update :
Send FAQ by E-mail
Add to favorites
Print this FAQ
|Question / Issue|
|I heard someone on the radio ask Larry Burkett if it's okay to use what you would normally tithe to get out from under debt. His answer: Yes, if the commitment to the lender took place before the commitment to the Lord..Would you agree?|
|Answer / Solution|
|This advice seems a bit open ended for us to agree or disagree. If he means that you should make the payment you've agreed to make on time, then we would agree. Thats a commitment you've made and you should do whatever you have to do to honor it. However, if he means it's OK to stop giving in order to make extra payments on your debt, we would not agree. Here's our answer to a similar question that should be helpful:
Should tithing take priority over paying bills on time?
It's interesting that the teaching in the New Testament does not require tithing. A "tithe" is a tenth, and under the Old Covenant Israel was required to pay certain tithes. There's a misconception that they only paid 10% for the maintenance of the priesthood and temple services (or service of the tabernacle, before the temple was built). Actually, they were required to pay over 20-30% in various tithes. But it should be noted that a lot of this was to fund the "social security" of the day.
In the New Testament, we see a lot of instruction about giving, but no mention of a required "tithe" amount. The difference between giving and tithing is that one is required with the amount set, and the other is a freewill offering, and the amount is prayerfully determined by each person. Many people still believe they should give 10% and there's nothing wrong with that; it's certainly easy to calculate. Paul indicates that we should give regularly, with prayerful thought as to the amount, that it should be generous, proportional "as we may prosper", and that we should follow through with our pledges or convictions (1 Cor 16:1-2 and 1 Cor 8:1-5).
Should you withhold your offering because you have bills to pay? There's a lot to consider behind that question. Are all the bills necessary? Living beyond one's means is a common problem, and should be corrected, although it might take time and effort. Do we need the mobile phone, cable TV, new furniture and other expenditures? If we are always thinking about giving to God last, then something is wrong. Also, a sudden financial crisis can be different from normal budget considerations (even though it's foolish to believe that unexpected costs will never arise).
If you're a committed Christian, you should prayerfully consider what your offering should be and then be faithful to it. (
|Direct Link to This FAQ|