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Welcome back to the Ultimate Budget Series. If you haven’t have a chance to check out the rest of the series, here’s what we’ve got so far:
Today we’re going to talk about one of the most debated and awesome line items in the budget: Tithing! Now, I know this is a hot topic for some, and for others it doesn’t even matter. But the aim of this series is to go through the most common budget items in detail, and tithing is definitely one of them. And as a tithing Christian myself, I have some experience in this area, and would like to break it down so that we are all extremely clear on what tithing is, what it isn’t, why it happens, and how to rock this line item in the budget. So let’s get to it!
Quick disclaimer: For those of you who are not Christians, thanks for reading this post. I don’t want to alienate anyone here, but just wanted to explain the idea of Christian tithing and how it fits into the monthly budget. I appreciate you stopping by 🙂
The word “Tithe” literally means “one-tenth”, and in most modern cases is in reference to giving one-tenth of your income to your local church. Christians specifically use this term a lot to describe their giving to their local church, though they might not be giving 1/10th of their income. This money is used to support the church ministry, including employment of the pastor and other church staff.
How Much You Should Budget?
This is the fun one. There are two answers to this question. The obvious, simple one, and the much more complicated one. So let’s start with the easy one.
- You can give 10% of your gross income. Why gross income, well, because your local church should get your money before the government 😉 And that’s it.
- You can give what you feel led to give. Told you this one would be more complicated. This one stems from the change in religious practices when Jesus came into the picture. He wasn’t concerned with whether people were following the “law” per se, but with their hearts. If they gave but their hearts weren’t in it, that wasn’t good, so he called out the religious folk in Matthew 23:23. Following that, Christians are called to follow what the book of 2nd Corinthians calls being a “cheerful giver”. So no specific rules on amounts, but clear direction on your attitude. Those of us who are Christians are called to give to the local church to support the ministry, but the amount and timing is up to you and your conscience. This is the route we follow, and sometimes it’s 10%, sometimes it’s different.
Common Ways People Blow This Category
The excuse of “we can’t afford it”. Tithing is seen as the last thing in the budget, and the first to disappear when unexpected expenses come up. I think the most common way that this category is blown is by not writing it into the budget for every time you get paid. If you don’t do it right away, this money could get absorbed into other daily spending, and not be there when you go to write the check.
Best Ways To Rock This Category
As Christians, we are called to give, though the amount does not matter as much as your attitude. Once you put together your monthly budget, you should have a good idea of what your necessities are, and can set your tithing amount based on your personal convictions. Pray about it, write down a number, and stick to it. Heck, you can even set up an automatic payments at many churches these days, so the day after you get paid, the tithe goes out.
Whatever Else I Feel Like Writing
Tithing is commonplace in many households, and for those that do tithe, or want to, I hope you can work it into your budget as one of the most important items, not one of the least. If we see ourselves as stewards of God’s money, then we should have no problem giving back to the ministry of the church. For those who don’t have the means or barely make enough to get by, then your convictions may lead you to stop tithing until you can sort out your finances and get back on your feet. That’s totally fine as well. Remember, God cares about your heart more than your wallet, but many times your heart is reflected in how you use your wallet.
Comments: Do you tithe to your local church? How is it going? Do you stay strict on the 10% rule? I’d love to hear your take on tithing 🙂