How can I tithe when I can barely pay my bills?
This question is real. And today, I want to talk to the one who doesn’t have an income. I want to talk to the one who doesn’t make enough money to pay their bills.
When You Can’t Afford To Tithe
I often counsel people from all ages and circumstances when it comes to believing God for financial provision.
Not because I’m in ministry. But because, of my former financial background and experience of working with families creating budgets.
Although, I worked in the financial industry for many years, it wasn’t until I studied God’s Word about Kingdom finances, when I realized God’s operates on different principles.
When I sit down with people today; their financial circumstances are no different than what I saw with families years ago.
However, my counsel is completely different.
Many people today are barely getting by. Some don’t make enough to pay their bills. They’re living check to check; robbing Peter to pay Paul, only to continue the vicious cycle next month.
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes people put themselves in their own financial ruin. They quit jobs before having a new one.
They don’t know the meaning of delayed gratification by sacrificing what they need, just to get what they want; spending money they don’t have.
On the other hand, there are some who have jobs, then their spouse gets laid off, causing the family to survive on one income.
Some might be in the middle of a divorce, with increased expenses or possibly facing medical expenses that exceed the family’s budget. And the list just goes on, and on.
So what do you do when your bills are more than what you make, and you seriously can’t afford to tithe without a bill not getting paid?
It’s simple. Give what you have.
Tithe What You Have
I’m sure I probably hit a sore spot with some pastors. But I believe, God looks at our hearts.
Please don’t misunderstand my personal belief on this subject. Andre and I fully believe in tithing, and the biblical principles for bringing a 10th of your income to the storehouse which is your church.
However, we also believe that good stewardship requires knowledge of kingdom principles, and having the faith to take the necessary steps to practice them.
Many years ago we wrote a financial confession to help stir our faith when it came to trusting God regarding our finances. (Don’t worry, we have that available for you to download from our community library or by filling out the form below.)
What we have found, was that as we confessed God’s Word, it began to strengthen our faith. As a result, it motivated us to give what belongs to God, no matter what our budget looked like!
Growing In Faith To Tithe
In order to have faith to tithe, one must first learn what God says about giving and receiving. And only when one understands this, can one give without fear. However, keep in mind, this process takes time.
If you’re in a bad financial situation now, just learning these principles won’t get you out of your situation overnight. It will take time, and it will require you to put your faith in action.
Which means, you must practice your faith by trusting God right where you are regarding your finances.
You must acknowledge where you are with your current financial situation, and determine what you can give God right now.
This is accomplished not only by creating a budget, but also looking at your spending habits.
Taking an honest assessment of your budget, by identifying your legitimate needs and what’s on your budget that are simply wants.
The hardest part is going to be making the appropriate adjustments. When things aren’t adding up, it’s time to start subtracting.
If you can’t afford to tithe, but somehow have the money to purchase your wants, you can’t expect God to supernaturally provide when you’re spending what belongs to Him.
Sorry for the tough love. But if you want God to put a super on your natural, you’re going to have to start spending your money differently.
Okay enough of that…
After looking over your budget, if you still don’t have enough, you have no choice but to pay what you can and trust God for the rest.
Your Budget Should Reflect Your Tithe
Your budget should include your tithes. But if you don’t understand the principles of tithing, or if you haven’t grown in your faith in this area, then most likely your budget doesn’t, until today.
Today, I want to encourage you to start with what you have. And add what you can commit to God on your budget.
Let’s say, after you pay all your bills, you have $50 left over from each paycheck. Instead of thinking, well since I can’t afford to tithe, I’m not going to give anything.
Instead, purpose to give God something from each paycheck out of that $50.
We’ve all heard the story about the widow’s mite in Mark 12, right?
“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” ~ Mark 12:41-44 NLT
You see; she gave all she had to live on. She gave from what she had. It might be easier for some to give God 10% when there’s enough money coming in.
Although, for some who are barely getting by, that 10% seems unfathomable.
However, if God is stirring something inside of you right now, and you have the faith of a mustard seed, give $5, $10 or $20 or whatever you can.
The key to your success of giving 10% is to be consistent, with increasing your giving, as you’re able, until you reach 10%.
The Power Of A Dime
As your faith grows, so will your trust. And as you trust God where your finances are concerned, you will slowly eliminate the fear of giving even when you seemingly don’t have enough.
You might be thinking to yourself, listen lady; I don’t have anything. I seriously can’t give. I’m in the negative every month.
Then I challenge you to give God a dime. Yes, you heard me, give God $0.10 cents.
Have you heard the expression, “anything can change on a dime?” Do you know where that came from?
That phrase has been around since the 1800’s. The expression “turn on a dime” means “having a tight turning radius.”
The dime as we know it, is only 17.91 mm in diameter. This expression illustrates just how small the turning radius is.
Anything that can “turn on a dime” or anything that can make a slight tight turn; can make a radical change in any direction very quickly.
What’s even more interesting about this analogy is, that small dime is all God requires of us on every dollar.
That means by simply giving God a dime on every dollar you have, it can make a radical change in your life.
Bring Your Tithe
Malachi 3:10 tells us to bring all our tithes (1/10th) to the storehouse (meaning your church). Many of us give our work 1/3 of our time every day, but we struggle with giving God 1/10th of what belongs to Him.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”
~ Malachi 3:10 (NLT)
If you’re not happy with your present financial circumstance, consider giving God the very least He asks of you; a dime on every dollar.
You just might be surprised how much your situation can change “on a dime.”
In The End
We’ve all been guilty of saying. “I will give God more when I have more.” However, be not deceived, God is not mocked. God knows our hearts, and the truth is we wouldn’t give Him more.
We would only do what we are doing right now, which is living on every dime we make.
So, what’s it going to hurt to try? You’ve been robbing Peter to pay Paul and where has that gotten you?
If you can barely pay your bills, I encourage you to give God a dime. And as your faith grows, increase it as much as you can, until you are able to give God 10%.
After all, anything can change on a dime!
PS…Don’t forget to download The Financial Confession today from our community Library or by filling out the form below!
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~ Timberley Gray