Question:I have a friend who is going through some financial difficulties. She is 30 yrs old, and married with kids. She says she is not able to tithe the way she ought to, because she does not have enough money to get the bills paid and still tithe. Do you think that she should tithe first, and then pay the bills, and trust that God will supply for her, or pay the bills, and keep her promises to her creditors, and then whatever is left tithe? It's a real dilemma, and I'd like to give her some godly advice, but I need some help. Please let me know what you think and any scriptures to back your opinion up would be wonderful. Thanks for your help!
Thanks for your question. It's wonderful that you are concerned for your friend.
I don't believe that there is an easy answer to your question. It certainly is right for us to give of our financial resources to God. On the other hand, I believe that God understands and is patient with us - and that includes times of financial difficulty. I don't believe that God will be angry with your friend if she does not give exactly 10% of her income. She has made real, financial commitments to others (her creditors), and they do need to be paid. She has promised to pay them. A Christian who fails to be responsible to repay debt that they have promised to pay because they feel they need to "give to God instead" is not being a good witness to the world. To me, when it comes to giving to God, it's mostly about the attitude of the heart, not about exact amounts. 2 Corinthians 9:7 states, "Each person should give what he has decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Your friend may benefit from some resources on good financial management that are available on the Internet through Crown Financial Ministries. Their website is www.crown.org