Tithing fascinates Wendy. So would having a savings account and discretionary income to spend. Unfortunately, Wendy is broke. No dinero, nada, zip, nothing. She has friends who tithe large sums of money to their church, and they have savings accounts and are able to buy themselves a little something extra every once in awhile. Wendy wonders where she went wrong.

“I would love to tithe,” she says. “It’s a great idea if you are already making a lot of money. But I am trying to feed 4 on $1500 a month. I was thinking of cutting our living expenses to tithe and save, but living on a heated park bench would get a bit chilly in Michigan!”

We hear ya, Wendy! We love your sense of humor and feel your pain. How can you win the tug-of-war between your moral obligations and financial reality?

Try these three steps to sensible tithing:

1. Study the scripture for true insight (not just a way out) to interpret passages on tithing.

2. Discuss your views with clergy, teachers and students of biblical ethics for more clarity around this confusing concept.

3. Pray for wisdom to make decisions on whether making financial offerings will bring
you closer to God.

There are those who will argue that tithing is not a religious requirement. And they may be right. But no one can argue that generosity is optional. When you are feeling low about your finances, turn it around. Be generous in ways that don’t have a price tag. Be generous with your praise, gratitude and love.

The $1200 a month Wendy has to live on is insufficient— for sure. Yet it’s there for her to use along with the many safety nets our community offers to those in need. Even the great big problem of not enough can be managed in small bite-sized morsels. Study, discuss and pray. Take the three steps to sensible tithing and find the answers you need.


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