Thursday, March 4, 2010

Deciding how to tithe/give offering at church while on a very strict budget

This is a tricky subject for A LOT of people. I have seen people say that no matter what they give their 10%. Sometimes this means that they can't pay other bills, or they have a hard time putting food on the table. I am not judging those people by ANY means. I believe that you need to do what you need to do and if tithing 10% is absolutely the way you choose to go, I totally support people's decisions.

Sometimes though, I'm a little saddened by WHY people decide to do this. Too often, I've seen or heard people say that they HAVE to give this because that's what they signed up for. That's what their church requires. I have a hard time with a church that says that you have to sacrifice your well being, your health possible, to give to the church. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying I think that MANY churches do this. I honestly don't know, but I've seen it so obviously there are churches that DO say it.

We are Methodist and we just joined our church last week. In the meeting to join our new(ish) church, they talked about giving and tithing. I remember once in church even our pastor said that in this economy, HE couldn't even give 10%. We definitely couldn't even start to think about giving 10%. It comes down to this, I believe in supporting our church but my families well being and health HAS to come first. I absolutely believe that God will provide. I have seen Him provide in ways that boggle my very mind. However, we also have to help ourselves. Because of that, we took what we were giving and doubled it and the rest of our "tithing/offering" will be through our time. I'm signing up for multiple different things that I would be able to do for our church as is my husband. We have also donated a very nice glider and ottoman to the nursery...we do what we can. The monetary amount we give is not much at all. But it's what we can afford and our time and efforts, as well as the fact that we adopt a family at Christmas time, is our "tithing". I believe that God does not look down on people who cannot give 10% and shakes His finger at us. Just as I believe that He doesn't frown upon people who make the decision that tithing 10% is as necessary as paying their rent.

Please believe me when I say that I don't believe that many churches say you HAVE to do this or that you're wrong in any way by deciding to tithe 10%, even if it is a struggle. I think the whole point of my post here is that it's a decision that we all have to make (well, those of us who attend church obviously) and that there usually isn't a wrong choice. In our place, if our offering got in the way of keeping a roof over our head, it would go.

I can imagine this will be controversial for some people, and I hope that I haven't offended anyone. This is just something we had to face in the last week as to deciding what we were going to do and it was laying heavy on my heart and brain so I thought, considering I"m blogging about being a thrifty mama, that this could definitely be blogged about. :)


  1. Good topic :) This is something we've also struggled with-when we went into counseling with our pastor, tithing came up and while he stressed the importance of giving in some way-he also made it clear that for this time in our lives, that might mean volunteering our time and talents, donating items to charities etc. Its not about putting 10% from your paycheck each week-its about where your heart and intentions are :)

  2. That's what our pastor basically said at the new members meeting. :)