2003-06-04 - Establish the Tithe
Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, Part 3
We are continuing in our series of the Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, to answer the questions: How can we achieve financial freedom? What must we do according to God's plan?
In Step 1, we learned the first thing that we must do as Christians is to Transfer Ownership of every possession to God.
In Step 2, we learned that we must Become Debt-Free.
Step 3: Establish the Tithe.
Every Christian should establish the tithe as the minimum testimony to God's ownership. As mentioned earlier, how can we say that we have given total ownership to God when we have never given testimony to that fact in tithe?
Now if this makes you feel guilty, I understand. I feel the same way. I tend to say that I can't afford to tithe. It's a good thing we don't have to tithe on our debt or do we? Wow what a statement, I have been paying 12% interest on $2500.00 for the last 6-years.12% interest. I have only been paying the minimum monthly payment. There is nothing wrong with that except that my debt has not been paid. If I had to file bankruptcy, a few things may happen. I may not be released from the credit card debt if I had purchases close to when I filed for bankruptcy. Another problem with respect to credit card debt has to do with the purchase of durable consumer goods. The debts for durable consumer goods, which I purchased on a credit card, are deemed secured debts. Therefore, I (the debtor) must elect to either 1) keep the merchandise and continue to pay for it, 2) surrender the merchandise back to the creditor, or 3) buy the merchandise for a lump-sum payment of its market value. Is that a good investment? When I sit down and look at the figures, and God's Word, I see it's not.
Where is the testimony of God's ownership in my finances? I haven't invested wisely what God has put me in charge of. I charged it, and I more then tithed to the credit card companies, I paid 12% interest. And I will admit that I had not been tithing to God at my local church. Now in addition to paying the credit card debt with interest, I am beginning to tithe.
In every case, God wants us to give the first part to Him, but He also wants us to pay our creditors. That requires establishing a plan and probably making sacrifices of wants and desires until all obligations are current.
You cannot sacrifice God's part - that is not our prerogative as a Christian. "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully." (2 Corinthians 9:6) So what is the key to "Establishing the Tithe?" If a sacrifice is necessary, and it almost always is, do not sacrifice God's or your creditor's share. Choose a portion of your own expenditures to sacrifice.
Once my credit card debt is paid, that 12% which belongs to God can be invested better. I recommend that you start on your knees in prayer before God. Agree with Him that you have not been investing His money properly, and ask Him to help you to obtain "Financial Freedom" as you establish tithe.
If you have any questions throughout this series or any other devotional that I may write, please email me.
I want my life to be for the glory of God