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tithe tithing debt free

One question I’m frequently asked is “Should I continue to tithe while I’m getting out of debt?”  Sometimes I get its close cousin “Why should I start tithing if I’m trying to get out of debt?”

These two questions are pretty common when you’re a Christian is in the process of changing your financial life by getting out of debt.

I usually answer these questions by asking a few questions in return to help clarify the thought process.  Hopefully that will lead you to answer the original question on your own.


“Shoud You Tithe While Getting Out of Debt?”- 3 questions to help decide via @DrCabler


Already Tithing?  3 Questions For You

tithe tithing debt freeLet’s start with the people who are already tithing and are wondering if they should continue doing it.

Many of them figure that if they stop tithing for awhile, that will free up some “extra money” so they can get their debts paid off quicker.  After the debts are paid, they’ll start tithing again and everything will be ok.

Sounds like a plan.

But there are a few things to think about when considering that strategy.  Here are the questions I usually ask in return:

  • Why are you tithing in the first place?-  Most tithers do it because they are being obedient to God’s teachings on giving.  They’ve probably even experienced many of the blessings that come along with tithing and realize that obedience in that area helps them live a more blessed life.
  • What happens if you stop tithing?-  When you stop tithing and use that money to pay off debt, you get the debt paid off much quicker. 

That’s a good thing, right?


Tithing Equals God’s Blessing

But the flip side of that coin is that you’ve eliminated a reason for God to bless your life and your finances.  Quitting tithing means you’re no longer being obedient to God in that way. It makes it impossible for Him to bless you for your financial obedience, and can actually harm you because you’ve taken away His protection in that area of your life.

You have to decide, is that a risk you want to take?


Angie and I Continued to Tithe

Continuing to tithe or not while you’re paying off your debt is a decision only you can make.  There are advantages and disadvantages you can find to justify either option.  You have to weigh those out prayerfully and come to the best decision you can.

In our own life, Angie and I made the decision to continue to tithe while we paid off our debt.  We feel that was the best decision that we could have made at the time, and that it was actually an advantage to our journey out of debt.

We wanted to make sure and keep God’s favor on that journey and not risk missing out on that so we could pay off the debt quicker.

The interesting thing is that during that journey, several things happened unexpectedly that actually accelerated our get out of debt process and allowed us to pay off our debt much faster.  We believe that was God working on our behalf because we were being obedient to His words on tithing.

Was it God?  Only He knows for sure.  That’s where faith enters the picture.


Should You Tithe? Only You Can Answer That

So the question remains- Should you tithe while getting out of debt?  Only you can answer that question for yourself and your family.  Weigh out the pros and the cons, ask the right questions, pray about it, and you’ll come to the right decision.

In my next post I’ll talk about whether you should get started tithing (if you’re not a tither already) while you’re getting out of debt, or wait till you’ve paid off the debt before you start.

Until then, a question…

Did you (or will you) continue tithing while you get out of debt?

Tell me about it by leaving a comment.



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Ready to Get Serious About Getting Out of Debt?

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In this 6 day mini-course, I’ll reveal the steps that my wife Angie and I took to stop struggling with money, get out of debt, and pay cash for things like cars and college tuition!  Best of all, it’s absolutely free!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • T. Pippin

    What if you can’t pay all your bills, you tithe, and keep getting further into debt? This is my situation. It is a real one that my husband and I are struggling with right now. There have been times we paid our tithe, when we didn’t have the money to pay my bills because we’ve always been told that we should have faith and our needs would be provided for. But our needs weren’t provided for, and then we’re over-drafted, or forced to ask a relative to help us out. I’ll admit there were times I didn’t believe it was the responsible thing to do.

    My husband works for a church and we’ve felt that many recent sermons were directed at us for having to ask the church for help in paying our rent, when we couldn’t pay our tithes or couldn’t pay a full 10%. There was no miracle check in the mail to relieve us, no magic donor, no one coming up to us at church to say they felt God telling them to give us something.

    I’ve been through Dave Ramsey’s course and worked to pay off my debts, while tithing and giving above, then got laid off. A couple months later, no job results, so I start my own business (which I believe I was led to do) and while it is growing, we are trying to dig our selves out of the debt we accumulated in the process, at the end of our credit line.

    I read my Bible, talk and listen to God everyday…everyday I spend my morning with Him and constantly ask for guidance. I feel my conflict lies more in what our pastor says, not in what God is telling me. I’ve always given when I felt urged by the Holy Spirit to do so in faith, but the times I didn’t and gave only proved to be disastrous.

    I also have an issue with giving into a storehouse that doesn’t really provide for the needs of the members, or at least makes you feel like you’re doing something wrong if you have to ask. I do not see this in scriptures, just that everyone gave and their needs were met accordingly. We don’t lie about our giving, but it is quite embarrassing to even have to ask for assistance, but to be made to feel wrong for it b/c we couldn’t tithe…well it’s very emotional and hurtful, especially when hundreds of thousands of dollars are poured into a sound system and other frivolities for the facility. Plus he and other staffers been told not to ask for a raise. Why are we trying to earn God’s blessings? I thought they were freely given to those who love and serve him. Also doesn’t rain fall on the just and unjust? In Job, there is no mention of tithing for blessings or earning favor.

    There is also the passage in the New Testament of the old woman who gave what she could…there is no mention to the percentage, but that even though the amount was small, it was all she had to give and that was a big deal to Christ. What about the Levites? Would you equate today’s church staff as modern day Levites? If so, how should they be taken care of? Shouldn’t everyone give and be given according to their need.

    Also, what about tithing our time? We spend a lot of our time at the church and my husband has mandatory volunteer hours he serves as well. He cannot get a second job b/c he has no free time to do so. Honsetly, I feel these are points my husband can’t even mention to the pastor b/c he doesn’t think he’s wrong about anything or for fear of being let go. These issues are not just ours. They are echoed by a large portion of the staff. Thoughts?

    • Wow, there is a lot to unpack here! I’m not sure I’ll be able to answer all your questions adequately, but I’ll try to help get you moving in the right direction.

      As for your tithing and not seeing results: You have to be careful about your attitude with giving. It’s easy to get disappointed with God because you see the promises He’s made about giving not coming into fruition. Just know that when you give without an attitude and of your free will, you will be rewarded for it in God’s perfect timing.

      I had to go through this myself just a few years ago when my income was cut in half for several years. Now I’m making more than I ever have! But it took several years of stress and continuing to be faithful before I saw the results of that giving.

      God recognized and blessed tithing even before the Levites existed. He is always a rewarder of giving when it’s done for the right reasons!

      I don’t know how well you handle your money right now. But if you continue to go deeper into debt to fund your life and business, you’ll have a difficult time ever breaking the cycle. You may need to get a steady job for now and work your business on the side until it becomes profitable. Just do everything you can to make extra money and not incur any new debt.

      As for your husband’s work situation and the attitude of the staff at church, that’s a difficult situation to tackle. On one hand, it is biblical to submit to their authority. On the other hand, if they are running the church in a manner not consistent with biblical principles, then you have to decide how to proceed. Will you call it to their attention and try to be an agent of change, or will you find another place to work and attend church? That will have to be between you and God.

      I certainly don’t have all the answers for your situation, but I do know that when you do a few basic things, God will eventually bless you in huge ways:
      1. Give with a humble heart, not out of compulsion or expecting an immediate return. Know that God’s promises are true and you will be be blessed by your giving when done properly.

      2. Do everything you can to be an excellent steward of your finances. That means not taking out any more debt, paying off the debt you have, and using your money as efficiently as possible (budgeting). That may mean sacrificing time and effort for awhile to find every way you can to make extra money to pay off debt. That may even mean a job change for your husband. Eventually, that will get you some breathing room.

      3. Submit to the authority of those that are over you. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with what they do. Pray for them and pray that God will open their eyes wherever they need to be opened. Stay in prayer for God to help you understand whether you need to stay or go somewhere else. God will always bless you for submitting to authority instead of giving in to an attitude of mistrust and criticism.

      I hope this helps. If you have any further questions please let me know and I’ll clarify if needed

    • Jamma Dan

      Your situation reminds me of a story I was told,………

      A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbour came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”

      “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

      A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

      “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

      A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

      “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

      All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

      “Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

      It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to dig yourself into further debt when you have the means to prevent that from happening,….Should you continue to tithe and because of that your husband and you go under,…..would your pastor clear your debt? Hire a lawyer for you when creditors take you to court?

      Let me ask you a simple question,…..if you had a son and he took a loan from you to buy a house for example, and the agreement was for him to make payments to you in monthly installments until the debt is fully repaid…….the money is not an issue to you, you can very well afford it ……6 months down the road your son lost his job and is barely keeping afloat, struggling to even feed his family,…. He comes to you not asking for help but just hoping that you would allow him to delay payments until he gets on his feet and stabilize his finances ……..would you agree? And how would you feel towards him? Would you blame him? Refuse to invite him over for thanksgiving? Would you withhold your ‘blessing’ from him?

      Never ever under any circumstances be pressured/guilt trip/shamed into doing anything ….especially when you don’t have the means to do so……. after all, I often come across the phrase …God help those who help themselves……

    • George

      Tieth and ask for something specific. Come into agreement out loud with Jesus. Expect a situation, or task to do, not exactly a handout or check in the mail, but a task, an open door, a responsibility that will reap a profit, don’t wait for a hand out. Be positive, negativity or lasyness or a negative mindset will rob your blessing. I promise this always works but!!! Many many people get themselves to give, but they don’t know the steps or process on how to harvest. Pls believe. Iv been thrue all that. And I guarantee u will see just how the lord comes thrue. Be expectant, not a handout from pastor or church specifically, God cannot lie. He said. Put me to the test.

  • Jozef Behran

    “What happens if you stop tithing? – When you stop tithing and use that money to pay off debt, you get the debt paid off much quicker.”

    Well, if you stop tithing and use that money to pay the debt off, you will be paying the debt off 10% faster. That does not sound like much improvement. Definitely not when I take the curse of non-tither into account. “Much quicker” is something like 50% faster or more in my book.

    • I think if you put the tithe money toward debt only, you could pay it off faster in theory. However, you’re risking the fact that you don’t get that Godly blessing that comes with tithing. When you tie God’s hands you’re more likely to experience setbacks that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you were tithing.

      • Jozef Behran

        “When you tie God’s hands you’re more likely to experience setbacks that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you were tithing.”

        That is exactly what I meant by “curse of non-tither” in my post.

  • mson

    I have been paying my tithe since my pastor told me but the problem is I don’t get anything back even at times I beg money before the end of the month pls help me could I be paying to the wrong place he is pastor and has church pls help me am confused

    • You have to be careful about how you treat the tithe. Your attitude makes all the difference. If you give just to get something back, then you’re not using the right mindset. You have to give with the attitude that you’re honoring God, and giving back a portion of what He has provided you with.

      He will recognize the right attitude and intentions. However, you can’t always expect an immediate change in your situation either. God does things in His own timing. He WILL bless you for being a tither in His own time, which ultimately is the best timing for you.

      By the way, if you are tithing but not being a good financial steward in other ways, then you will still have financial problems. Be careful about where and how you spend money, how you make money, and how you treat money. These are all things that can keep you in bondage, even if you’re a tither.

    • Jozef Behran

      1. Did you ask God for instructions for your finances? If no, ask Him now.
      2. If you asked God, did you receive instructions? Beware, many times God’s instructions seem to be to a human brain unwise, crazy or even totally insane. But that is only because God knows something about your financial situation that your brain does not. And when you “need to understand everything before taking action”, God might react with “Shall I explain it to you or shall we do it”. Time is precious in God’s eyes and His time for the blessing is often so close that He simply can’t waste time explaining everything to us.
      3. If He provided the instructions, did you DO what He said? If no, don’t wonder why you have problems. I got into a $120000 debt just by ignoring His plan for my finances for more than 8 years. Even now He had to literally drag me out of my job (and take away the ability to work in one) to make His point to me. If you are not obedient, He may also need to drag you out of something.

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  • Lebo

    I have not been tithing for a long time, but my finances was getting worse and worse, I was under a lot of debts, and then I decided to go and see the Man of God who told me that I should start tithing and o will see the hand of God in my finances. Last month’s I tithe and God is already working wonders in my finances. The father of my children who was not supporting his kids sends me money for the children

    • God’s ways work! Keep it up and you will continue to see His hand in your life and finances!

  • Neil Carpenter

    I don’t have a church, (after my experiences, I don’t want one) and so I save my tithe. I end up with a lot of money, and Im either under constant threat of some unknown attack if I either dont tithe, or if I spend it. Or, I’m under constant temptation, as I’ve never had enough money to to anything with. Makes me want to quit tithing.

    • One thing you should understand is that no church is perfect, because all churches are filled with imperfect people. I encourage you to find a group of believers and get involved in a church, no matter the imperfections.

      As for your tithe, if it’s not presently going to the church then it’s not really a tithe. Whatever you do with it, whether saving or spending, is not benefiting God’s church (or you either!). Again, I encourage you to find a church and tithe there. You will see big changes in your life once you do…

      • Neil Carpenter

        “Let your alms be in secret”. That said, although on occasion I have gone to church, and gave what I had saved, a couple times, I also just gave what I had saved once to a homeless guy, and once to someone I knew really needed it, and couldnt ever pay me back. On a side note, I’m trying to quit smoking weed, I have a license, because I think it’s a form of drunkenness, and the Galations 5 passage scared the crap out of me.

        • It sounds like you’re trying to find a better way to live, and that’s great! Becoming active in a church around solid believers will help you clarify your thoughts and find the path you’re seeking with God. Giving money to someone who needs it is a noble and commendable thing to do, and you definitely should do it.

          But the Bible explicitly says the tithe is for the church, so be careful about rationalizing doing something good while at the same time robbing God and the church of the tithe. Many people aren’t taught that concept and end up believing that tithe money can just be given anywhere as long as you do something good with it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Sorry, not trying to be a buzzkiller, just want to be biblically correct and help others discover the truth of what’s in the Word.

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  • Christabella

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  • Mercy Adu-amankwah

    for some time I did not pay my tithe because I wanted to get out of debt . I continued to wallow in debt untill I decided to just last month. And it yielded amazing results. Money promised me by a friend was doubled, a company had pay us some money but did not because we could not provide much evidence, but the officer in charge decided to pay us part of the money. Glory to God

  • Last time I ran into this question, I asked the reader if they had a local charity they could donate their time to. There are shelters, soup kitchens, schools. A lot of places that need help, warm bodies, people to give their time, even more than money. One told me in an email, that after a few weeks of donating her time, she was offered a part time paid position at a different charity, her tithing $ were higher than before, and her debt was nearly gone.

    This idea doesn’t strike everyone the right way. But in my opinion, giving 10% of your time, say 6-8 hours a week is a fair interpretation of the spirit of tithing.

    • I think giving of your time is certainly a good thing to do. The Bible does explicitly require financial giving, but giving out of anything you have is certainly blessed as much as giving money. God always blesses giving, period!

  • Erin Ralph Johnson

    I also managed to overpay and got money back 🙂 made no sense but God’s ways are higher!!

  • Erin Ralph Johnson

    I’ve continued tithing and my debt is over 5 months earlier than I expected. No other explanation other than God!

    • That’s awesome! I love to hear stories like that! This stuff really does work if you just believe it and do it! Keep up the good work Erin!

      • Erin Ralph Johnson

        I was worried I wasn’t giving the full 10% but I kept raising the amount however I could. Started off giving five now its 25 a month.

        • Nice, Keep it up!

          • Erin Ralph Johnson

            Thanks! I will be debt free next month officially and then I can do 10% which I’m so excited for.

  • greg

    The idea to keep debt longer so you can pay tithe is not always right. Consider your situation and where your tithe is going. If stopping tithe means pastor will starve to death then dont stop tithing. But If you dont pay debt quicker the interest will mean you end up paying MORE and debt can build until u cant tithe at all or bank will come and sell ur house. It depend on the situation but there is good reason to pay debt first asap. If we have debts we are not in financial freedom. Prov 22:7. God wants us unencumbered by debt so we are free for his purpose. We have duty to others to pay our debts and they should be our priority. Not tithing is robbing God but not paying debt is robbing others. Would God want you to rob others so you dont rob Him? No. Otherwise debt will get bigger and bigger…Then what we have over if any can be given to God. Giving to God should be from our increase. The idea that stop tithing will harm you is not true. No where in new testament says that. Just free will giving as act of worship. God blesses people with generous heart not generous wallet.

    Here’s a tips for financial freedom.prevention better than cure. ..Never take out a loan. If you have one pay it back asap. Never put yourself in financial bondage..always live within your means. If you cant afford it without a loan..you cant afford it. I have never taken a loan. I bought new car and a house outright with cash..it takes time but possible. Then I also have enough to support 3 fulltime missionaries…that would have been wasted paying interest if I had taken loan. I guarantee you will be able to give much more to God than those who waste their money paying interest.

    • I agree, if you can’t pay cash, then you can’t afford it. However, as tithing is concerned, my belief is that God should always come first before any debtor. He is the one who provides all that we have, and it’s up to us to return a portion of it to His church as He requires. When you do that, God gives you favor because of it. I’d rather have favor with Him than a debtor any day.

      I see proof of this in conversations with some of the pastors I know, who tell me that they never have to use their church’s benevolence funds to help people who are consistent tithers. It’s always those that don’t give, or give inconsistently that end up needing financial help.

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  • pricilla

    good day Jason, my husband and I started this journey about 5 months ago after we lost our car due to an accident and we realized that we could not get another car because that make us over indebted. We were tithers and we have continued to tithe. It is only now the last two months that my husband has been asking that we stop tithing for 6 months so that we can pay off our debts, i did not agree and i continued to pay the tithes because this is our obedience and also our protection that we have. At the moment we cannot give offering, like first fruit, building fund and also just every Sunday. There has been successes also in this time, we started our first emergency fund of R 10 000 and in USdollars is 1000USD on a unit trust with allan grey.

    Our pit falls at the moment are as follows, i love luxuries and on our budget we do not have an entertainment budget and i add up using another money that was budgeted somewhere else to cater for that luxury, and also the other pit fall due to the increase of food prices here in south africa we add up going beyond our grioceries budget due to things that we had to buy for the month.

    So my question is how can we avoid this, secondly since we are not giving our offering what is the impact on that because we feel very guilty about that myself personnally and i have not gone to church for the past 4 weeks.

  • Peter

    Same here, I don’t think tithing should be circumstantial.

    • Right, when you make it a point to be a giver no matter your situation, that says a lot to God and He’ll reward you for it… every time.

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  • Scott

    We began our debt-free journey about seven months ago and determined to tithe while paying off debt. It has been difficult and the debt is going slowly. Using the tithe money would help tremendously. We are depending on God to bless us through this difficult time and be better prepared Christians afterward.

    • Stick with it and keep the faith. Continue to change your financial habits and keep the right attitude about your giving (no complaining) and He’ll see that things go your way.

      I’ve seen great things happen many times to people that tithe no matter what. I’m living proof that it works and that He is faithful.

  • Cindy Mae

    Typos! Ahh! I meant to say, yes I believe in tithing no matter what!

    • Awesome! I always say a blessed 90% goes further than an unblessed 100%.
      Thanks Cindy!

  • Cindy Mae

    Yes, I do believe on tithing ok matter what! 🙂

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