May

20

2013

Joe Carter|6:15 AM CT

Study: Christians Who Tithe Have Healthier Finances

The Story: The finances of Christians who tithe are generally healthier than the finances of those who do not, according to a new study.

The Story: A new 5-year constituency study released by the State of the Plate gives an inside look at the financial, giving, and spiritual practices of 4,413 people who donate 10% or more each year. According to the Christian Post, researchers compared tithers to non-tithers using nine financial health indicators, and found that tithers were better off in every category. "The weird thing is, a tither looks at that and says to himself, 'Well I'm better off because I give.' A non-tither looks at that and says, 'Oh, they give because they're better off,'" said Brian Kluth, the founder of the study.

The Takeaways: Some of the more interesting findings from the study include:

• 77% of those who "tithe" give 11%-20% or more of their income, far more than the baseline of 10%.

• 97% make it a priority to give to their local church.

• 70% "tithe" based on their gross income, not their net.

• 63% started giving 10% or more between childhood and their twenties

• Tithers carry much less debt than most people and are financially better off than Christian non-tithers—80% of "tithers" have no unpaid credit card bills; 74% have no car payments; 48% own their home; and 28% are completely debt-free.

• What keeps non-tithing Christians from giving: 38% say they can't afford it; 33% say they have too much debt; and 18% said their spouse does not agree about tithing.

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

Categories: Articles of Interest
  • Robert

    How do we know it is not the reverse, that Christians who have healthier finances tithe more?

    • Linda G

      Gods word comes with a promise for tithing. We are to give our tithe to the storehouse, or our local church.

  • Caleb T

    But is this actually causation or just correlation? One could make the argument that those with healthier finances are more likely to tithe.

    • Jermaine

      The study measures percentages, not total amounts. It's measuring the concept of 'sacrificial giving.'

      Though, one could argue that someone who made $100k and gave $10k a year gets LESS hurt than someone who made $30k and gave $3k.

      Thoughts?

      • Man

        Well, that may be true if we have a flat tax system in this country, which we don't.

        IF you make $30K/year, you're probably paying very little income tax (both as a percentage of your income and in absolute terms). IF you're making $100K, you might be paying anywhere from ~2.5x as much (percentage-wise) to maybe 10x as much (or more). And if you're making say $200-300K, that rate probably goes up even more.

        • Robert

          Everyone knows that in America is harder to live on $100k than to live on $30k!

          ;-)

          • Man

            Actually, that really does depend.

            There are real costs (beyond mere dollars) to how one goes about the whole endeavor.

            There are real reasons why someone only makes $30K vs $100K, and it's not always as straightforward as some like to trivialize it to be. And the context for that can often stretch far beyond the immediate time both into the past and the future.

            • Man

              As a follow-up, for instance, I could probably be making 2x as much as I've been making throughout most of my career in my field of work, but I chose not to in part because I didn't believe it was worth the costs at the end of the day.

              Not saying I did everything right of course -- far from that me thinks -- but that's precisely why I (and anyone else) is forgiven so much thru Jesus our Christ.

              Shalom...

        • carl peterson

          While the person making 300K might be paying a higher actual and % of his income in tax all % are not created the same. This is crude and not exactly how we are taxed but let's say the man making 300K is taxed at 30%. He still has $210K to use. While the man making 30K taked at 15% has 25,500K. I propose the second man has a larger hardship in real terms. Also chairtable donation are deductible on your tax return if you take an itemized deduction. Those who make 30K most likely will take the standard deduction while often those making 300K will take an itemized one. Thus the numbers really go in favor of the one making 300K.

          • Man

            Carl,

            Unfortunately, it's more complicated than that and not necessarily worse for the low income folks... though no, I'm suggesting we should feel bad for the upper 1-2%.

            For instance, after standard deductions, that $30K income will be taxed almost entirely at 10% due to how the tax brackets work. It's true that portion of someone else's higher income will also be taxed that way, but that portion will be tiny and inconsequential for someone w/ say $200K in taxable income.

            Also, this is only looking at the taxes, but people who make that much typically cannot do so while living at the level of the low income folks. The real cost of living does go up substantially for those making substantially more due to how our society and culture work.

            Sure, there *might* be many Christians in the top 1-2% who are living carelessly/selfishly, but that's neither here nor there.

            And no, I don't make that much, but I have been on the lower end and gradually moved up toward middle-class (for Brooklyn, NY, anyway), and I also benefit from (as well as struggle w/) an unusual circumstance.

            Truth is God gives each of us a context in which to either thrive or struggle (or more likely both). We all need to live faithfully to His calling for us whatever/however it be.

            There's good reason for the wise saying that the field is always greener on the other side...

            • Man

              Ugh! That first comment should be "... though no, I'm *not* suggesting we feel bad for..."

              Also, standard deductions are more than indicated IIRC. Technically, there's standard deduction plus an exemption per dependent on that income, which would be just one for the income maker, if he/she's single.

              Suffice to say our tax system among other relevant issues is more complicated and skewed than some would like to believe.

              And no, I'm not really a Ron Paul guy looking to strip government down to skin and bones either when I point this stuff out. I just think we should be more honest about it all w/ ourselves, especially if we're going to start pointing fingers...

              Shalom...

            • carl peterson

              Man,

              Iknow it is more complicated butthere is no need to go through all that since it is simple to see without understanding the full ?US tax system. I do taxes as an EA so I should know.

              "but that portion will be tiny and inconsequential for someone w/ say $200K in taxable income."

              This comment proves the point. This post and the comments have been largely about finances. Sure there are other factors in life but only financially speaking the one who makes $300K is almost always (if not always) better off than the one who makes 30K. I think that simple fact was proven in my last post.

              I ma not pointing fingers. I have made less than 30K as a chaplain resident and much more in other positions. I am not against anyone being well off. I think mypoint and the point of many is that study's findings in the end do not tell us anything. Why? Because it is much easier ot tithe (financially speaking) if one makes 300K than 30K. Sure the one making 300K could have much debt but so could the one making 30K so that does not matter. In fact any debt the person making 30K is much more of a burden because of his low salary.

              So the one making 300K can tithe with much less sacrifice. This was shown also in sciptures when Jesus speaks about the Widow's mite. It is a little different since the widow gave much more than 10% but I think we can use it to demonstrate this point also.

              Maybe I have missed your point but it seems pretty clear to me that the rich should be able to tithe with much less financial difficulty.

            • Man

              Carl,

              Yes, my original (and main) point actually went well beyond just the technicality and specifics of the calculations.

              For instance, consider the actual context of the different people who might make $30K or $100K or $300K. Is this person doing so in New York City? In Ithaca, NY (or similar)? Is he/she single or married or have a young family to raise?

              The numbers mentioned don't tell us of the context, but they could easily be all mixed. A single person making $30K in a small town in say Texas, where there's no state/local income tax AFAIK, might actually get by better than a young family in the NYC metro area whose primary income maker makes say $60-70K -- and they have to decide whether it's worthwhile for the other parent to work, which could bump the household income to $100K, if they do.

              Another example case. IF you're making say $200K-plus, there's fair likelihood the work you do demands a certain lifestyle that requires spending commensurate w/ your income (and may well come w/ certain work-related pressures). Sure, you might still easily be able to give way more than the person making $30K, but it might not be quite as easy as some seem to suggest.

              Basically, it's hard to know w/out knowing the full context, which is partly why we shouldn't be so quick to judge. And of course, I'm only barely scratching the surface of the actual context w/ which different people actually must make do.

              Yes, if all else are indeed equal, of course, it should be much easier to give more if you make a whole lot more. But all else usually aren't actually equal though.

              There's good reason why Paul says what he says in Phil 4:12. He doesn't merely suggest we should learn to live joyfully while in need, but implies that living in wealth isn't necessarily far easier/better either. Sure, big part of that has to do w/ temptations to indulge, but it's not all that though...

              Peace...

            • Man

              RE: the example of the poor widow, that's probably a good example of what Paul suggests in Phil 4:12.

              Here's the thing. What *should* it really mean for us to be better off? Making more $$$ or simply living well in the way Paul references (and prescribes)?

              You can find poor people feeling they're better off because they're not encumbered by the weight of the world that comes w/ being middle-class, upper-middle, top 1-2%, etc. And you can find rich people feeling like they just don't make as much as they should or need (for whatever reason). And vice versa.

              I make a good deal more than I used to in absolute terms, but do I really find it any easier or feel all that much better off? Not really. Indeed, percentage-wise, I actually feel like it was easier when I first came out of college making just ~$30K (though the context was clearly different) vs what I make now w/ a family to raise. In fact, as a new convert, I distinctly recall telling some older Christians that I didn't have any problems w/ it and actually gave ~20% (before tax) of my income to general offering and missions work even though I still had some student loans and credit card debt to pay off -- and yes, I paid them off w/ no real problems. Yes, $30K did go much farther back then (in the early 90's), but then again, it was $30K in NYC metro area, not some little town w/ lower (estimated) cost of living and likely lower local taxes.

              Have you seen the cost of housing of late in the NYC metro area? It's going through the roof again. Homes in various parts of Brooklyn, not just the wealthiest, seem to be selling for 2x as much as just 12 months ago reaching multiple millions in some cases.

              In the face of such (and other factors), how do you rightly (and unilaterally) tell people (w/out context) that they should all have far easier time just because they make $100K or $200K or even $300K? Those incomes don't all come w/ no strings attached afterall... and I'm actually not even one who believes everyone should/need own his/her own home...

              Peace...

  • john

    well no duh.

    Those who tithe aren't better off because they have more - but those who are committed to a tithe are already good stewards of what they have. If I commit myself to a tithe, I will have to be all the more responsible over my remaining money. I can't just spend whenever I want.

    We didn't need a five year study to conclude this.

    • Darren Blair

      Pretty much.

      If a person is committed enough to where they can maintain a 10% tithe, then there's a good chance that they can be motivated to maintain proper financial discipline elsewhere, no matter what their means.

      And regardless of whether or not a person is religious, "keeping to a steady budget" is generally going to help a person be better off financially than those who don't, regardless of income levels.

      • Linda G

        Love your comment, but I think it goes further than this. God owns everything we have. I believe that if he sees he can trust in the little, he will give us more. It has always been the case with me and my family. Satan would have us think we cannot afford to tithe. If we listen to what he says, we open ourselves up to losing what we have. In the Word of God nowhere does God say to prove him or that means to try him except in Malachi 3L10. God wants us to be obedient in the little so he can trust us with more.

        • Darren Blair

          Thank you.

    • Mike

      Agree 100% John, people can kick against the conclusion, but a good steward will always control their remaining money after an established prolonged discipline of giving.

      It simply comes down to the wise vs fool.

      • http://www.christianvagabond.com Christian Vagabond

        Debt can also mean medical costs. I don't think you'd call a father whose family goes in the red to pay for chemo costs foolish.

  • facedown2000

    But both individuals in the example are wrong. Tithing isn't a means to become "better off," nor is it a command directed only at those in a particular income bracket. We have what we have by God's grace alone. While the study is interesting, one risks missing the main point: Giving is a command, and it should be an outpouring of God's love in us, not a means to obtain financial security.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    A 'Tithe' is a calculation.

    Christians give freely, from the heart. And probably a whole lot more than than a miserly 10%.

  • danielm

    I think the point is being missed here. Sure the high points of the study are somewhat obvious, and being a marketing guy, I could spin those numbers to tell you whatever you want me to say. Here's a practical example. In humility I'm putting myself out there.
    Before tithing, I spent spent spent. It was my money and I'd do whatever I wanted with it. When I was prayerfully considering tithing I literally heard a voice telling me to sell my (expensive) car. I was in debt up to my ears and never thought I could consider taking 10%+ of my income and giving it away. So I sold my car and got a cheaper one. Making a long story short, since I've thankfully given my tithe, I've eliminated one credit card payment (~12K), paid off an auto loan, given to more charities, and the list goes on.
    I think the point that the author is trying to make is that people who tithe realize that their income is not their own. It belongs to God. We become better stewards of His money. When we realize that 'things' of this life are not our own, we become more responsible in so many other ways. Tithing is just one example of that.

  • carl peterson

    I agree with the above comments. First, we do not tithe because it will make us better off. That is true. Also the study, as presented here, really does not help. One does not know if it is just correlation or causation. If one is better off then one can afford to tithe. Those heavy in debt or barely making their monthly payments really have to sacrifice to tithe. Or maybe those who tithe are already better at managing their money. Who knows? The study does not really help. Maybe there is more information in the actual study. But who has the time to look through that? Not me.

    • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

      Maybe those who tithe are legalists. They are doing it out of a sense of obligation and not out of a free heart. Maybe that's why 'calculating' is involved. (that's what a 'tithe' is, you know - a calculated gift)

      Maybe that's why Jesus made such a point about the old widow who gave everything that she had. And why he said, 'now that's real giving'.

      • Jermaine

        That's a big maybe. I calculate how much I give, and it comes from a sacrificial and joyful place. There's nothing legalistic about choosing a generous number, sticking to it, and stewarding the money left properly.

        It's very dangerous to attribute legalism to pragmatism.

      • David

        OA, i'm sure some of them are. However it's dangerous to lump all of tithing into legalism. Some do it with a pure heart. I for one don't believe that the OT 10% is God's design for the church. That's a whole topic in and of itself, but i want to point out that any OT passage on tithe always states a purpose for the tithe - providing for those who can't provide for themselves. But even though I don't believe the tithe is for today, that doesn't mean I don't give, seeing that even the OT command was based off of providing for others, not just a commandment. Giving is in fact God's design for all of time, no matter the covenant or dispensation (depending on your camp). My wife and I have a "giving and hospitality" budget - something that would never be recorded in one of these studies. But I believe it is a Biblical model for a modern day tithe. However you do it, as long as you don't believe you're paying for your week's dose of sanctification, I would be easy on tithers.

    • Robert

      "But who has the time to look through that? Not me."

      Plus the study costs $24.95 to access.

  • Jason Turner

    So what about those who tithe and were not better off? I tithed for a long time and still had little to no money. So what about the people who actually tithe and still do not experience this "well off-ness"? Is their faith? Is it their lack of budgeting skills? Is it their basic living expense exceed their income?

    The larger my income grew the more I gave. It was that simple. During this time I often did not tithe. I gave simply out of appreciation of what God had graced me with and gave more at this time did I ever did when I was strictly adhering to the 10%

    I believe its a matter of giving from the heart, budgeting correctly, acknowledging the expenses of basic living which can be extreme for some people and prayer.

    Enough of this class system of tithers are more well off than non tithers. This is missing the point and does not tell the entire story of believers finances. This may add guilt and not liberty.

    • Joe Carter

      ***This may add guilt and not liberty.***

      As with most studies, the interpretation of "what it means" can vary by individual. Here's how I'd personally interpret the result:

      1. Christian should want to give generously because God gives generously to us.
      2. The problem with not being able to give generously often has more to do with our inability to give because we simply do not have the money.
      3. If you develop healthy finances (e.g., stay out of debt, live below your means) you are likely (as the people in the study) to be able to give more generously.
      4. Christians should aspire to get their finances in order so that they can give more toward the work of the Kingdom.

      Viewed in that context, I would say that it is encouraging.

      • Man

        That's pretty much how I look at it as well, including the point about this having the potential to mean different things to different folks.

        Also, I suspect guilt would be something as likely added by baggage coming from the individual reader as much as anything...

    • Lisa

      Yes Jason, and what about people like myself that don't even believe in tithing? Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
      Malachi 3:9 Ye [are] cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, [even] this whole nation.
      Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].
      Malachi 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

      Q: "What happened to the temple (storehouse)?"
      A: It was destroyed in 70AD and has not been rebuilt.

      Q: "Why?"
      A: The old covenant system of animal sacrifice to atone for sin is finished. The new covenant is in the blood of Christ who is the final and everlasting sin sacrifice.

      Q: "Where is the temple now?"
      A: 1 Corinthians 6:19 says WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God no longer resides in a stone temple, but in the hearts of his children through the Holy Spirit.

      Q: “What is meat?”
      A: The word meat in this scripture is the word prey. The word for sacrificial animals, live animals to kill.

      Q: "What happened to the Levite priests?"
      A: The Levite priesthood is no longer necessary as the old covenant system of animal sacrifice in the temple was superceded by the everlasting covenant of Christs blood.

      Q: "Who is the priesthood now?"
      A: 1 Peter 2:5 and 9 says those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior are the priesthood.

      Q: What building ever won a person to Christ?
      A: Ask the Lord to show you what to give and to whom, and remember that His words "Feed my sheep" (John 21:17) go much deeper than a pastor's sermon on a Sunday morning. His words are spiritual, and they are literal.

      The early church had a much better understanding of Christs intent to care for the needs of the Body of Christ than we do today. The proof of their caring for each other can be seen in Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-37 where the Body of Christ shared everything, and through their giving, they eliminated poverty and indebtedness. In fact, Acts 4:34 says "there were no needy persons among them!"

      Here's good news to quote when the religious Mafia come knocking on your door ... Acts 15: 5-10:
      "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"
      Which means being under a better covenant is living by faith not compulsion. Nor living under condemnation and obligation.
      Tithing was to do with produce, not money . Today it is taught by many churches as a New Testament requirement, and is always to do with loot (the $$$s and (non) cents stuff!) as it is used for paying the minister's wages, even though there is no scriptural back-up whatsoever for tithing in the New Testament, or 'rules and methods' for giving money. Even as there is no New Testament backing whatsoever for a "one" Pastor show. Even though Paul mentioned five times that elders were to feed the flock not by constraint, but willingly; and not for filthy lucre (financial revenue/proceeds, that is!).
      Look 'em up ... 1 Tim. 3:3 & 8, Titus 1:7 & 11, and 1 Pet. 5:2!! May the truth set you free! May you also understand why the beautiful, biblical word 'charity' has been twisted and given a reinvented meaning.
      God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). And guess what? God never changes!
      Therefore, this basically means the LORD does not demand some sort of a "spiritual" tax from us. But a whole heart.

      • Matt

        your understanding is seriously lacking. You should talk to a Bible teacher about it(one who shepherds the sheep), and make use of their gifting. That is why we are commanded to support teachers and overseers. They can help us understand the Word of God.

        • DanO

          With respect Matt, you don't really respond to any of her points except to say, "You don't know what you're talking about."

          One could just as easily say "your understanding is seriously lacking" and that YOU need to "go to the teacher."

          I have higher hopes for you. You can do better. Take another shot at it.

  • http://www.solafivereformed.com Jerry Nanson

    I see two problems with this study, one is methodology and the other is scriptural. As some have correctly observed, it doesn't appear as if the study makes a valid attempt to determine if the financial health is a result of tithing if tithing is a result of the financial condition of the respondent. The other problem I find is much more serious: how does one respond to a survey such as this and maintain obedience to God's clear command to do our good works, and specifically giving, in secret? I would argue that the fact this study was even done is evidence of a works-centered, moralistic view of the Gospel. Our giving should be done out of our love for the Savior and the financial implications shouldn't be an incentive nor should they be a disincentive. I would argue that this study belongs on the "Good Works Coalition" website rather than the "Gospel Coalition" website.

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  • Nick Klein

    I'm thankful for this information. However,I worry about how this study will be used to achieve the wrong purposes. It would be too easy to read this information and come away with a "prosperity" approach to tithing. I see someone leaving a presentation with this information thinking "Wait, if I give more to the church then the Lord will bless me with better finances, so I better do it!" I hope that anyone who shares this information will do so in a way that nips the prosperity mindset in the bud...

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    Christians ought give what they can, whenever they can, and not worry about outcomes.

  • Tom

    Where in the new testament do the apostles teach us to give 10%? I know it's in the old testament, but are we sure that the exact amount of 10%it was carried over to the new testament?

    • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

      It's not. And if it were...it's be law...not gospel.

      Christians are NOT calculated givers. Unless of course they are just some sort of Protestantized Jews.

      We give from the heart. 10 percent is pretty chincy, anyway.

    • http://www.everybodyelse.etsy.com Melody

      I think of 10% as a place to start. No matter how poor I am I can afford 10%.

  • Sara

    It's not. The tithe is only mentioned in ONE chapter in the NT post-Christ's death and resurrection. That is in Hebrews 7 and is in reference to Abraham's tithe to Melchizedek. I would suggest spending some time reading at tithing-russkelly.com - you may not agree with everything he says, but it's an enlightening and thorough study on the erroneous teaching of tithing for today's Christian.

    • Sara

      My comment should have been in reply to Tom's question about where in the NT do the apostles teach us to give 10%?

  • http://www.everybodyelse.etsy.com Melody

    I agree with the people who are saying that this isn't causation, it's that Christians who are in control of their money are both going to tithe and be better of fiscally than Christians who aren't in control.

    But I don't agree with the people talking about tithing being legalistic. When I was poor I gave because I trusted God. When I became financially stable I gave out of gratitude. Now I give because I want to see His work done here on earth.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    It's not a matter of whether you give or not. It's a matter if it's from the heart...or if it's merely a calculation. Making sure not to put a damper on our lifestyles or to dent our nest egg too much.

    Jesus made a good example of the woman who gave all that she had. And that exposes us, doesn't it?

    I guess we really do need a Savior. We aren't as 'good' as we thought.

  • Pattie

    has anybody ever heard a sermon on tithing/ Has anyone's Pastor actually preached that God requires 10% from you?

    • Sara

      It's mentioned every single Sunday at my church when the deacons pray for the "tithes and offerings." As part of our church membership, one agrees to give a tithe (10% of their money) to the church, among other things.

  • Tom

    I view tithing / giving as a spiritual discipline, along with prayer, bible reading, fasting, etc. You don't earn God's favor or acceptance by doing any of these things, but they do aid an individual in sanctification as he/she desires to die to self and seek after God.

    Can you do these spiritual disciplines and not grow in sanctification? Absolutely. But, when done with the right heart attitude toward God and with the Holy Spirit's empowerment, they do help us grow in Christ-likeness.

  • http://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/ SLIMJIM

    Thank you for this study

  • Man

    The debating here reminds me of the old school baseball notion that "numbers lie" (or don't depending on one's perspective).

    The numbers are what they are. No more, no less. Make of them what you will. But for them to be useful, you'll need to understand them well and properly, not force your own preconceived notions on them. Likewise regarding other observed facts and truths whether in nature or in God's Word or elsewhere.

    Interpret at your own risk or for your own edification...

    • carl peterson

      Man,

      One has to put a perspective on the numbers or they mean nothing. The problem with the survey is that the numbers could mean so many different things. Thus no one really has any basis to interpret their usefulness.

      • Man

        Carl,

        Unfortunately, what's provided in this case just doesn't allow much meaningful interpretation IMHO. So don't read more into them that what's shown. Otherwise, it'd be just as bad as taking a few verses in Scripture w/out knowing their full context.

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  • Juris P

    Sounds like " a good business"...
    Is Jesus a businessman?
    I believe that He said that when you see someone in need, then you give, and don't count is it 10% or 5%.
    This is all about our selfishness. Seems like today we like christianity because it gives us back some utility and this study have showed that. But what is about example of Christ him self, to give away everything in life, and others who have followed that example not because of better deal in sense of business. But they were glad to give away, glad to get away from means of this life to renew their likeness of God.

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  • Bill

    My father-in-law once explained to me why he drives with his headlights on during the day: "because studies show that those who drive with their headlights on during the day, have fewer accidents."

    I think though that it's more this: the types of people who drive with their headlights on during the day, are the types of people who look for every safety advantage and the headlights are just one of many. So is it the headlights, or is it the type of person they are?

    This applies in some respect to the tithing issue. It's not so much this "tithe and you'll be better off financially." That's the mistake that proponents of the prosperity gospel movement make.

    It's more that those who see the wisdom of tithing (obedience, the goodness of blessing others...) are also the types of people who will embrace other principles of life that will likely (not guarenteeing) a more healthy financial life for themselves than non-tithers.

  • Tom

    I sin when I think about church, missionary, and pastors finances. I wish it wasn't that way but I think it's probably not just me.

    I work 40+ hours a week, my wife works 40+ hours a week. We don't have a lot of money, we live very modestly, we don't feel like we have enough to provide for kids, we don't get vacations.

    But when I look on facebook I see missionaries that have to raise so much support. While raising support they are flying over the country for training seminars, going to museums and trips with their kids. I see pastors with 4 kids and trips to the beach. None of the wives have jobs, they stay home with the kids. Some churches aren't even transparent about their salaries and benefits so that makes you question that.

    I know it is my own sin when I have envy or feel like those missionaries better work hard and realize the support really costs their supporters lifestyle.
    But I do hope they would use better judgement with showing off their days off at home or vacations. Stay at home spouse don't complain because you didn't get a nap that day while everyone else has to work all day.

    Sorry to rant. It doesn't even really apply to the topic. I should be a cheerful giver and if my gift better enables them to do God's work I should be happy with that.

  • Craig Hohnberger

    As someone who came to know the Lord soon after starting a business, I couldn't afford, at least on paper, to tithe as we were barely at break-even. After some serious prayer and study of God's Word, we decided to do so anyway and our finances got better after we tithed. I am a firm believer that when God says "test me in this" He means it. It is a step of faith and that is what God wants from us.

    Craig Hohnberger

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  • http://spiritofdiscernment.wordpress.com Henry

    It appears the intent of the post is to suggest that if one tithes "faithfully" one will accrue some supernatural benefits to in terms of miraculous improvements in their finances. Personally I do not see any Biblical basis for. Jesus Christ who is the true shepherd did not command the church to tithe of their income. Jesus instead implores us to look after the sick, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. None of this is being talked about but instead teachers go to the Old Testament and wrench a doctrine out of it's proper perspective and impose it in the Church. If God wanted the New Testament church to tithe He would have said so explicitly in His Word but it is NOT there. Mal 3:9-11 relates to Israel under the Law and if you look at what Paul says in Gal 5:4 those who seek to follow the Law (the old Law) have fallen from Grace. People need to know the truth and to stop propagating the myth about tithing.