Is debt reduction a greater priority than tithing? P. 2
In my previous article on this subject, we looked at several reasons why the believer should prioritize tithing before debt reduction. Note that I am not saying that we should neglect our debts – if we promise to repay something, we must repay it. Matthew 5:33 tells us that when we make a promise, that promise should be as good as done. However, if you must choose between paying extra on a debt or giving your tithe, the tithe comes first.
Here are two more reasons why the believer’s commitment to tithing should be greater than his commitment to debt reduction:
God has promised to meet our needs.
The psalmist wrote in Psalm 37:25:
I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.
Our circumstance might be tough, our debt might be overwhelming, but if we are seeking to walk in God’s ways with out whole heart, He has promised to meet our needs. But we must obey Him first. If you are lazy or neglecting your family or if you refuse to be a part of a gospel-preaching church, you cannot claim this promise.
Writing a check for ten percent to your church every month is a huge step of faith, but God is faithful to supply the needs of His children. In Philippians 4:19, we find that God “will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” It is important to note the context of this promise: the supplying of needs was a promise made to the true Christians at Philippi who had already taken the step of faith to give money to the Apostle Paul’s ministry. God knows our needs better than we do and He will meet them in His time and in His way. Withholding the tithe because of debt is a demonstration of a lack of faith in God’s promise.
The tithe comes with a blessing.
God has your debt under control, He knows your needs, He can meet your needs, He owns all, and He has promised to bless those who give Him first priority. One of the most beautiful pictures of God’s love for his children is found in Luke 11:9-13:
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
God loves his children and if you are a child of His, God knows about your debt. He knows about all of your financial and physical needs and He wants to bless you! He wants to give you something good . . . but you need to trust Him first, you need to make certain that you are one of His children. In essence, God has said, “Give to Me what I am owed and I will take care of the rest.” To withhold our tithe because of our debt shows a lack of trust in God. He does not need our tithe in order to take care of our debt.
Think about how simple this is, we do not have to figure everything out! We only need to believe His Word and act on that Word.
Conclusion: If you really believe that God is God, that He controls all things, then this decision should be a “no-brainer.” Why would we not make every attempt to do things His way? Why would we not want to be as close to the Source of life as possible? It is almost ludicrous to say on one hand: “God you are sovereign and I trust you with my eternal soul”, but on the other hand you say, “God, I am going to hang on to my tithe because I think that my debt is stronger than You.” If you are a true child of God, you will want to give Him the firstfruits of all your “increase” as the Bible says. No amount of debt or expenses will be able to keep you from obeying Him.