Will Tithing Keep You Broke?

Tithing is giving 10% of your income to God, as commanded in Scripture. But most Christians aren’t tithing. In fact, less than 25% of church-going Christians are giving the full 10%.[1]

Many believers choose not to tithe because they think tithing will keep them broke. They’re living paycheck to paycheck, and they’re afraid that if they give to the church, they won’t be able to make ends meet.

I understand where they’re coming from. But I’ve witnessed firsthand what the Bible says over and over: that givers actually have more—not less. What sets givers apart from everyone else? Will tithing keep you broke?

Givers Don’t Cheat God

Givers don’t cheat God; therefore, they don’t cheat themselves.

When you don’t tithe, the Bible says you’re cheating God. In Malachi 3.8, God asks, “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’” and God responds, “In your tithes and offerings.”

God doesn’t need your tithe. In fact, he gave you the money to tithe in the first place. So why is he so angry that he’s being robbed? Not because it gives him less money. He’s angry because if you cheat God, it means he isn’t your God.

I’ve also seen time and time again that if you cheat God, you’ll cheat yourself. Being disciplined with your finances creates margin. If you’re not tithing, you’re probably not saving or investing either.

Givers Have an Abundance Mindset

A huge difference between givers and those who are perpetually broke is their mindset. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not tithing and generosity that will keep you broke, but your way of thinking about money.

When I was broke, it wasn’t because I was too generous. It was because I had a scarcity mindset.

  • Scarcity Mindset: If you believe money is a zero-sum game where if you win, someone else has to lose, then you’ve bought into a scarcity mindset. People who think this way see life as like a pie. If someone takes a big piece of the pie, there’s less left for everyone else.[2] In our sinful nature, we naturally don’t want to give anything up. It’s easy to think that if we tithe, we’ll go without. Stinginess is a mindset that will keep you broke for years or decades.
  • Abundance Mindset: With this mentality, you believe there’s more than enough for everyone. You believe God has given you enough to be generous and will continue to provide as you give freely (2 Cor. 9:6-8). By the grace of God, you generate wealth by adding value to the marketplace—not by stealing it from someone else (Luke 6:38). I’ve found it true in my own life that when I give, I always have enough. I’ve never gone without. More than that—I’ve seen God come through in unmistakable ways.

Today, we have more disposable income than any generation before us. Instead of living in fear of going without, adopt the mindset that you’re giving out of the abundance that God has already given you.

Givers Practice Wise Stewardship

In my financial advisory practice, those who couldn’t pay their basic bills if they tithed 10% are by far the exception, not the rule.

Let’s do some simple math: If giving 10% out of 100% is what’s keeping you broke, where is the other 90% going? I’ve found that those who give frequently practice wise stewardship in other areas of their finances. They trust God to provide. They don’t covet what they don’t have (Luke 12:15). They give freely.

Tithing won’t keep you broke.

Self-gratification will keep you broke.

Keeping up with the Joneses will keep you broke.

Perpetually going into debt for things you can’t afford will keep you broke.

I’m not saying that everyone who fails to tithe is mismanaging their finances. But I am saying to take a good, hard look at where your money is going. Are you telling yourself you don’t have room to tithe, but you’re over-spending or going into debt for unnecessary purchases? As a financial advisor, I see this common scenario much more than those who couldn’t pay their electric bill if they tithed 10%.

God doesn’t ask us to do anything he has not done himself. He always leads by example. Before the beginning of the universe, he knew he would give his Son to be humiliated on a cross to save us. He first gave to us. When you tithe, you’re only returning what little you have to offer, your life and resources. These are but tiny sacrifices in comparison.

I dare you to try to outgive God.

[1] https://pushpay.com/blog/20-bible-verses-about-tithing/

[2] https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/5-ways-to-go-from-a-scarcity-to-abundance-mindset.html

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