Giving a Part of What You Have

I want to thank all of you who sent me lovely hugs, love and prayers. I soooo appreciate it. Kisses to you all, and know that you are helping me in ways you cannot imagine. g

This may be a somewhat controversial blog so I want you to read all the way to the end before you go off in a huff or threaten to set the dogs on me.

A tithe, from the Old English work “teogoþa” or  “tenth,” is a one-tenth part of a person’s income, paid as an obligation to support a religious group. There are millions of people who tithe as part of their commitment to their faiths. While the standard tithe is 10%, some communities ask for more. And some people feel the need to give more.

Various religious groups have their own words for tithing. Jews use the word “tzedakah” to describe an act of generosity that is an obligation. Jews believe it is unjust — even illegal — to not give tzedakah. Giving charity is such an important part of Islam that even the Arabic word tasaddaqa (to give charity) comes from the root sadaqah, meaning “to speak the truth.” Zakah are the compulsory alms that are collected every year from Muslims.

I have nothing against tithing if it makes you happy. After all, it’s your money and you should do with it as you wish.

It’s your money. That’s the line I draw on the tithing. If it isn’t your money, you should be tithing. So I do have a BIG problem with tithing when you’re in debt.

I’ve suggested more than a few times to people who ask that those who are in debt should hold off on their tithing until they are out of the hole. Why? They simply can’t afford it.

But Gail, it is our belief, and a part of who we are to tithe.

If that is truly the case, then you would defer your own pleasures and needs in order to give. You would pass on that coffee, say no to that vacation, skip the new sweater so that you could give YOUR money from your heart. If sacrifice is required, so be it.

To give with real spirit, as opposed to by rote or by rule, is to take what you HAVE and give a little to someone else. It is about prioritizing the needs of others over our own wants. It requires thinking about how you will spend your money so that you can also afford to give some of that money in support of your beliefs.

People with debt aren’t doing that.

People with debt aren’t actually tithing their own money. Their gift is coming from, or being supported by, lenders far and wide who are making lots ’n lots of money.

Here’s the thing. If you can’t afford to live within your means, you aren’t demonstrating responsible living, and you don’t have to right to salve your conscience by tithing. The fact is, only solvent people have the right to tithe, and if you don’t have your crap together yet, you shouldn’t be doing it. Tithing 10% and then putting $500 a month on your line of credit is hypocritical because you are not giving what YOU have.

As for the 10% rule, most religious organizations ask for 10% of people’s gross income. But you know what, you don’t make your gross income. You + the government make your gross. You only take home your net after taxes. So if you’re pledging 10% of your gross income, you’re actually pledging much more of the money that you take home.

I’m all for sharing. If you must tithe to keep within your religious guidelines, fine. But then you must also make the commitment to tithe from your resources. If you can’t afford to do that, you must rethink your tithing.

Ask yourself this: Would the person who truly loves you the most want you to go into debt over and over again in order to give them money? Then why would God want you to do that?

I’m expecting a lot of comments on this blog (or maybe none at all) because my points here are not going to be seen as “politically correct.” I’ll take whatever you’ve got as long as you keep it respectful. And I don’t want any fights breaking out in the comments section. You can add your thoughts, supportive or argumentative, but no meanness. Okay?

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50 Responses to “Giving a Part of What You Have”

  1. I am a fairly “liberal” Catholic, I do my best to go to church every week and be a good person. I’m not quite sure what the tithing rule is for us, but I don’t abbide by any rules but the ones I give myself. I do give to the church, but it is nowhere near %10. I work hard at my job for a not-so-great salary and my budget is already quite tight. I can’t imagine living on so much less just so I can tithe.

    I know that the last thing God would want is for me to live unhappy and broke. I think he would rather I get any debt paid off first so that I have to means to donate the money that I have earned, and not the money I owe the bank….

  2. Excellent article, Gail. I absolutely agree that tithing while not financially solvent isn’t prudent.

    Tithing doesn’t have to be in the form of dollars. We can tithe our time (volunteer), tithe our skills (tutor/teach someone a new skill), tithe our ears and hearts (listen and respond in a compassionate way to someone who is hurting, from family and friends to someone we meet on the street).

    There are lots of ways to tithe without dollars when a person is rebuilding/recovering from financial issues (debt). And, the benefit is that these alternate forms of tithing build some pretty nice spiritual muscles.

  3. Don’t look for any controversy from me. I spent some time conversing with coworkers yesterday about how archaic Sunday shopping rules are. If I want to buy some milk at 10 am on a Sunday, I shouldn’t have to go to 7-11 to do so. A lot of people don’t practice Sunday as a day of rest any more. A lot of people that have a day of rest don’t even use Sunday as that day…

  4. oooo… I totally agree with you Gail – 100%!! …but my parents would freak if they read this lol

    All the best to you Gail – you’re one brave woman 🙂

  5. avatar Catherine Says:
    October 15, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Gail, I agree 100%,

  6. As I was reading the article, I was bracing myself for the comments that would be posted. I’m so glad to see that so far, they have been supportive! I’m sure there will be worse to follow as the day goes on, but I’m another who’s in agreement.

    I LOVE the comments from the person who reminded us that there are other ways to give back, and I encourage those who are struggling to give what they can’t afford financially, to take that advice and volunteer some of their time or skills instead.

  7. My background is jewish and my husband’s is Christian. We raised our children as Unitarians in order to learn a variety of the world’s religions. One of the beautiful quotes from the Unitarian Congregation is:

    “Service is our prayer.”

    So we give back through helping others (e.g. helping out at our local ‘Out of the Cold’; organizing children to make murals for hospitals; carrying oranges to give to beggers on the street, etc.). We give a bit of cash annually to United Way, but just don’t have a lot of extra to spare as we’re managing our debt and sending 2 kids off to university.

    I think God, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mary, The Creator, whoever – would all want us to first ensure we have our own house in order. After all if we don’t have have a strong foundation how can we continue to give and help others?

  8. Re: Sunday shopping

    Most religions have set aside a day of rest/ family time as a way to discourage unscrupulous employers from exploiting workers, in a time when there were no labour laws to protect people. Unfortunately, we live in an age of 24/7 consumerism, which has contributed to our debting culture. Having a day of rest is a good idea, religious or not! Gail, you are spot on about tithing with YOUR money, not someone else’s. There is also the bible’s maxim “neither a borrower nor a lender be”!

  9. Good article, Gail. I actually have a few suggestions to add. I agree that you can tithe your time, skills, ears and heart. Be creative with volunteering – you may have more skills than you realize! Charities will appreciate it if you go to them with something specific in mind, especially if it requires minimal supervision on their part. Another option if you don’t have cash to give: give away your stuff. Do you own anything that you’re no longer using but might be useful to someone else? You can give to a thrift store, but you can also directly contact an organization like The Redwood, St.Christopher House or St.Joseph’s Residence, where your item can go directly towards helping someone. You can also make gifts. Some women recently knitted warm blankets for cats at the Toronto Humane Society, for example. Another option is to make a planned gift (such as a Residual Gift in your Will). This might seem distant, but it will give you the time to accumulate assets and it will make a big difference to the charity when the gift is finally made.

  10. Gail – I’m another one who is 100% in agreement with you on the subject of tithing and being financially responsible first to yourself and your family, especially for those on limited budgets, at risk of losing their jobs, etc. As 2Sammies points out so eloquently – we can contribute in so many other ways if we don’t have the dollars to do so.

  11. I was going to come and post that you do not have to tithe the 10%, that offering your time and talent is another way of meeting stewardship expectations. I thought I would be the lone voice, but I am pleased to see that I am not.

    Stewardship, in my church–the United Church–does not only involve money. Stewardship is everything you do after you say you believe.

  12. Agree wholeheartedly, Gail.

    What makes me crazy is that tithing is about remembering where everything comes from (God) and then living a life of good stewardship as a result. People who have been spending to the point of accumulating huge debt, haven’t been living that way, so why the sudden pangs of duty now?!

    I read an article several years ago called “When in Debt – -Give”. It seemed to me that the underlying attitude in it was that if you keep giving and intentionally tithe while trying to pay off your debt, God will bless and honor that choice and you’ll get out of your financial problems faster. That seemed outrageously irresponsible and boxed God in…since when do God’s blessings have to be monetary?.

    Pay off your debt and tithe with your time. THEN give your monetary tithe with your heart to thank God for making that possible. I refuse to try to blackmail God by giving only to get something back. I think it defeats the purpose.

  13. I read the blog, Gail had many valid points that I do agree with.
    As a Christian it is true christians should have never go into debt they should follow the teachings of the bible etc etc etc………. but it happens. Tithing is not an option when you are a true believer it is a part of your faith therefore it is a part of your belief therefore it becomes a part of your being. If you are faithful to God he will be faithful in return to you. When you are in financial crisis you should continue to remain faithful. A true believer who is in debt will continue to tithe and at the same time know that God will help them through their financial crisis as long as they remain faithful. And the reason the christians got into debt in the first place is due to a lack of faith, depending on credit cards, line of credit to supply our wants when God supplies all our needs.

  14. avatar Working From Home Today Says:
    October 15, 2008 at 10:59 am

    How is this controversial? It seems like good old fashioned common sense to me. Our forefathers and mothers would have tithed generously. But they would have cut down on extras to do it. And my Great-Grandparents prided themselves on being able to do it without being beholden to anyone (creditors).

    Good lesson for me.

  15. I just thought of another suggestion that I should have mentioned. In my previous post, I mentioned making home-made gifts to charity – this could include knitting blankets or booties, or quilting, etc. If you make a gift that has a cash value, for example if you are an artist or quilter and donate one of your items to charity, who can then auction or raffle off that gift, you may receive a tax receipt for the cash value of the gift. Think of it this way – you are benefiting the charity, plus you’re getting a tax-receipt, and it won’t cost you much more than your time.

  16. My perspective on this is probably a little different from the rest of the posts. For one, I am a man, and for two, I am a Priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. I agree 100% with Gail. Jesus speaks all over the place about how the intent of the giving is more important than the numerical digit. 10 cents honestly given (out of your own money) is better than 1000 bucks of your lenders.
    BUT here is where I depart a little bit. The truth of Gails blog cannot be an excuse for us NOT to tithe, or give to our religous instittuions. I see it time and time again, where people say they have no money for the church, yet they go on tons of trips, eat McDonalds everyday, care for a boat, and all sorts of extravegancies. They hide behind the ‘not 10%’ rule as an escape from spiritual obligation (tithing at the core is spiritual). So before we laud and praise Gails insight, I think we need to ask ourselves if we are simply hiding behind an easy excuse to give less and therefore not maintaining our commitment to God for the sake of a an Americano.

  17. avatar LiveLikeAEuropean Says:
    October 15, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for the perspective Kyle! I do agree with much of what you said…and also appreciate Gail’s insight.
    What I do appreciate about tithing is the perspective it brings – the reminder that we are not entitled to our money, but have been blessed by it and therefore motivated to give back out of grattitude. It also makes you think twice about where you put your money – for example: a nice vacation or an investment back into my community…?
    Thanks for getting our brains moving on this one Gail!

  18. Kiera, God is still helping out, even when faith or sheep are lost – see the prodigal son.

  19. I’m reminded of a big from George Carlin’s famous routine on religion:

    “But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bulls— story. Holy S—!”

  20. ‘big’ = ‘bit’. Typo. Sorry.

  21. Disclaimer – Anglican, envelope giver, have sat on parish councils of two churches in different provinces. I have a lot of sympathy for Kyle – lots of people want what the church has to offer but don’t like to contribute – we’re not talking tithe or no tithe here, folks – we’re talking people who have the money for the big wedding but balk at paying extra for the organist to play at that wedding. When I make out my cheque on Sunday, I am mindful of two things – the first is that where my treasure is, my heart will be also. What I spend my money on reflects what I think is important in life. The second is that if I think my church is important, and I do, my gift has to be meaningful. I don’t think God wants us to go into debt to honour him, but I also don’t think he wants us to go into debt for “stuff”.

  22. I particularly appreciate the idea that if you give while you are in debt, what you are giving is not really yours. I think connects beautifully with what Karen said — where your treasure is, there your heart is also. How dismaying to think of people whose hearts are at Visa and Mastercard!

  23. On the subject, I do not tithe or contribute as much as should to charitable organizations. I am not proud to admit this, but have been making steps to correct this. However, I am not in consumer debt anyway and wonder if it isn’t more admirable to pay back money already borrowed instead of giving it away. I think of the idea of owing the baker $10 and ducking out on him to give money to the church, which is better…. I wonder if the baker wouldn’t need the money more. (Now you can say Visa has lots of money already, but then so does the church). Tricky subject, good points on all sides I think and well said everyone.

    @ Ginny above – “neither a borrower nor a lender be” is not from the Bible, it’s from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Polonious’ whole speech in that is actually really good advice, 400 years on. Small point but important to separate this from the Bible.

  24. avatar Stephanie H. Says:
    October 15, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    The churches I have belonged to over the years have always taught that it isn’t about a specific % give what you can afford and your time and talents are just as important. If fact they would do the time and talent pledges the same day as the tithe pledge. I have actually heard from the pulpit you shouldn’t be going into debt to pay a tithe. I have always given what I could even when I was in college. In fact I think many churches would rather have your time and talents rather than money.

  25. two points, if i may:

    a) where you give is so crucially important. if you give to a place with high overhead (admin, fundraising, salaries, etc) your contribution is worth less than if you give to a place with lower overhead. for example, place ‘x’ has an overhead of 32%, so that only 68% of each dollar you give goes to the actual program. place ‘y’ has an overhead of 14%, and hence 86% of each dollar goes to program.

    so, whether you give 10% of YOUR gross or net income, it is more relevant to look at where you are giving it, since 10% of your gross to place ‘x’ might be more of your own money, but people in need actually receive LESS than if you had given 10% of your net to place ‘y’!

    b) in jewish tradition, 10% is acceptable, but maimonides says that 10% is just ‘average’ and up to 20% is real good. (but, he says, don’t give more than 20% so that you don’t wind up in a position that you need to start taking as well!).

    arnie draiman

  26. I find both the post AND the comments very interesting… I agree on all levels and am so happy that there is no mud-slinging!!!!

    Please permit me to go off on a little tangent:
    The church is not the only place that we tithe. How about gratuities at restraunts and other personal services (though in a much more one-on-one level)? We are expected to be kind and generous for the personal service we receive with food, spa, newspaper delivery, porters, housekeeping and all sorts of places not listed here!
    I have always struggled with tipping, I don’t have myself in that position very often since I rarely go out for any personalized service, and when I am there I am always a little at a loss as to proper etiquette. Some believe that tips for the hairdresser should be 1/2 again what they paid for the service (!)…. okay I am not a hairdresser, so I don’t know how hard it is, but I feel bullied into tipping — didn’t we already establish that the wash and trim was going to be “X” amount of dollars + tax?! When was 10% for “okay” effort not enough?
    And then there are restaurants.
    My sis (the one with massive consumer debt) routinely pays 30% even if the service is borderline… I guess I really am a tightwad, I will happily give a nice, fat tip for really good service, but it’s gotta be good. And if you are a lazy server with a rude attitude then your employment wage should be good enough thank you very much. (I can say that because I WAS a waitress for years going through school, sometimes it was hard, but I was accurate, polite and fast — that was my JOB, and that’s what my wage was paying for, the tips were just a bonus.)

    I know I got a bit off topic, and religious tithing and tipping really aren’t the same at all… other than they are both an interpersonal discretionary generosity for peaceful cooexistence with your conscience…

  27. When I was first married, and relatively poor, we simply couldn’t tithe.
    (We could barely clothe, feed, and shelter ourselves).
    We managed to find alternative ways to pay it forward and help others.
    We donated our time to our church, instead of money we didn’t have.
    I donated blood to the Red Cross, freebie samples to the Mathew 25 Pantry, and homemade cakes to our community meals.
    Eventually our financial situation improved … and we do now tithe.
    But I know in my heart, it was the right thing to get my own financial house in order then, so I could do more for others later.

    Your a financial rock star in my book!!!

  28. Arnie, excellent point, but may I just add that a quick snapshot of the stats doesn’t always give you the full picture. Many donors take a quick look at the financial pie chart and make their judgement from there. But many organizations hide fundraising or admin costs under the heading of programs and services, while others are more transparent. A more transparent, more honest organization may actually look like the bigger spender compared to a less honest organization who is hiding costs under misleading headings. Currently, there are no regulations to prevent this, but new CRA guidelines will help improve this problem. (Also don’t forget that some charities have higher admin costs than others, for good reason). In the meantime, I’m going to write a blog post providing a series of good questions to ask when making a philanthropic contributions to your charity, at

  29. avatar retail worker Says:
    October 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    In response to Holly’s comment about buying milk at 10 am on a Sunday and not having to go to a 7-11 is irritating. Do u wanna be the person at the grocery store at 7 am to make sure people can get what they want at 8am when they open? I am that person and think its ridicolous that on a Sunday people HAVE to shop especially at 8 am. If u needed milk so bad u shoulda gotten it on Saturday. I know it’s a little off topic.. but find it irritating that people think stores should be open such early & late hours.. don’t we deserve a guaranteed day off as well?

  30. Retail Worker, I think you’re ignoring a basic law of capitalism — supply will rise or fall to meet demand. The fact that you think its ridiculous to shop at 8am is irrelevant, if enough people desire to do so and a smart shopkeeper decides to take advantage of it. I will tell you that as a parent of a 1 year old who works along with his wife a whole heck of a lot, that I find 24 hour grocery and pharmacy stores invaluable and continue to buy the majority of my goods there, even though I suspect I pay a slight premium to do so. And by the way, the concept of a guaranteed day off in a world where you can work remotely 24/7 is antiquidated – if it even ever existed outside of 1950s sitcoms. If you hate your job that much, get another one, just don’t be surprised if the grass is the same shade of green when you do.

  31. The grocery workers might have the morning off, but the tireless staff at 7-11, any restaurants serving breakfast, hospitals, police services, etc. are all already at work. I think either everyone’s off, or nobody’s off. Why is some people’s time worth more than others?

  32. Here here Geoff.
    Don’t like working on those days or at those times? Find a different job. You choose to stay with that one. I hated not having weekends off and having my days off change, so I got a new job.
    (And think about the fact, retail worker, that if your store wasn’t open at those times and on Sundays you might not have a job)
    It’s like deciding if you’d rather have stuff or not be in debt. Decide if you want that job and are prepared to work the hours or decide you want to leave and find something else.
    I’m sure people will tell me it’s hard to find a different job in this economy, but I’m just going to put out there that it’s not impossible.
    Every day you make a choice to work where you work, give what you give, and spend what you spend. Don’t blame other people for your choices.

  33. i along with many others, do not practice an organized religion. it’s good for others but not for me. so as for sunday shopping, i don’t see why one of the many worlds religions should pick and choose when i can buy milk. if we closed stores on all religious holidays (saturday and sunday included) we’d never get anything done. i guess there is the underlying assumption that everyone is christian, but that is far from the truth.
    tithing is suppose to feel like sacrifice. that’s the point, give up something you don’t need for the good of someone else. and you are suppose to give your money, not someone elses money. otherwise they would call it borrowing, not tithing.
    no arguments with this blog.

  34. Great article on Sunday shopping!! Oh wait, we’ve gone way off topic.

    I think the thing that today’s church has fallen into is that it has bought into the idea of consumerism as much as our governments have and our citizens and … If we were to live the way the Bible and most other religious texts call us to we wouldn’t have the conversation of whether or not to tithe when you have debt, because we wouldn’t have debt.

    We have far to many churches spending in extravagant ways that it inspires their congregations to do the same. I just read a great article about how the church itself needs to give of itself to others and not just to its members. I knew of a church that was dedicated to giving away 10% of all they received back into the community and initiatives that were happening outside of itself, now that’s good tithing!!

  35. It’s my belief that tithing with the right spirit is more important than the right percentage. If I give 9.99% of my income grudgingly to the church every month, but my neighbor gives only 5% of her income in a generous spirit, then I believe she has given more.

    In my church, anyway, it’s not about giving for the sake of giving 10% – it’s about a generous attitude, sharing your gifts with those less fortunate, which may not include the church.

    If I give a homeless person $10 to get some food and I go home smiling, or if I feel suddenly compelled to buy the person in front of me a coffee, I am satisfied that I am tithing to my God’s work.

    More to the point of Gail’s blog, yes, having the CREDITORS tithe to the tithee via an indebted person is kind of missing the point, IMO. I think the Bible says “Get your own crap together before getting involved in other stuff” or something to that effect. But don’t quote me on that 😉

  36. Great blog Gail! I also am not religious, so do not tithe to a church, and my thinking goes much to that of George Carlin’s as shown in another reply. However, I do volunteer and give to charity when at all possible, and give to food banks, etc. I think giving of one’s time is more generous than giving money is. Again, it works towards the pay-it-forward concept.

  37. Hi Gail, this is an interesting post. I am Muslim and have really grown to appreciate our rules on financial matters especially that dealing with all forms of interest is not allowed. You are right it just doesn’t make sense to put your family in debt to help someone else out.

  38. I’m glad I don’t have this problem. Yay for atheism! I give what I want when I want when I’m able.

  39. Gail i was surprised you didnt write about poverty since yesterday was blog action day against poverty 🙂

  40. Oh Gail, what a wonderful blog! I’ve been trying to tell my sister all of the above comments for a long time and it just gets rebuffed. She needs to give – in order to receive God’s goodness etc. I don’t buy that at all. She is in debt to the point of going bankrupt. Why is she in debt? For the most part, her bad decisions: three marriages and divorces and the last one was a doozy.

    If she had saved that 10% of her gross – from a very small cheque earned in a retail store for her 20 hours of work per week maximum – then her daughter wouldn’t be looking for a scholarship to pay for 100% of her costs for university and all the sundry extras. There is not a penny for the daughter’s future education costs. I warned my sister two years ago as well as my niece that they need to have $5000.00 saved so that if and when she does get a scholarship then she can at least enroll with some understanding that the scholarship will pay part of the total cost when it truly arrives for her to use. OSAP arrives long after the need to pay for tuition. My points go unheeded. God will take care of things in His way and all that she gives will return to her in a good way.

    Frankly – all that I’ve ever seen is her having a hard life with so few rewards that I have to wonder how she views the world. This need to fulfill a demand from her church for gifting 10% gross is just too hard on her and her life with her daughter. Priorities are not being met properly. Her line of credit is nearly at $16,000.00 with little hope of being reduced in the near future. Bankruptcy isn’t the answer but she has considered it seriously.

    My sister tells me that it is a demand of this church that she gifts 10% gross. There is an understanding of giving your services to help others too but most of all for finding the cold cash for the church. I find this totally unacceptable and I think that my sister unfortunately, is also one of those people who has disasters visited upon themselves regularly. I truly worry about her and her finding her way in this world.

  41. Sorry, I checked out my quote “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” is actually Shakespeare, not the Bible. But in the Lord’s prayer, the line “forgive those who trespass against us” does refer to debt forgiveness. Debt has a very long history in the World. Margaret Atwood’s latest book examines the history of debt culture, back to the tulip inflation in Holland of the 1600’s. Interesting read

  42. To tithe or not to tithe should be personal between only you and God. Not what someone is dictating to you by claiming that God says what you should give. If you can read, then you can read the Bible for yourself (remembering though that parts were left out and what’s in there is interpreted for the best interests of the Church).

    Retail worker..last time I checked you didn’t need post-secondary for this work..if you don’t like the hours, go to school and then find a better job.
    When you complain and look disgusted that a parent has walked into your store at 7:15 a.m. for groceries means you should not be working there-you have the wrong attitude toward humans. Everyone has their own circumstances, kids, etc. You don’t know why they walked in the store in the morning as opposed to the night before. Nor should you be privy to that info. STOP JUDGING! If you need a day off retail worker because you chose this line of work..this has nothing to do with the rest of us, it’s your issue and you shouldn’t take this out on the public. It’s your choice!

  43. avatar Melaniesd Says:
    October 16, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Great Post Gail.

    I currently tithe by donation thru payroll deduction to the United Way. It’s not much, but it all adds up. I have debt, and I work a reduced work week so I can be home with my son. I have to make sacrifices to make that happen. Otherwise, I tithe by offering my time. I volunteer and fundraise for causes that are near to my heart.

    Doreen: I love what you said about your church’s view of “Service is our prayer”. I have to agree that giving back in anyway you CAN makes you feel good and is serving your community & your God in a positive way.

    Saver Queen: Doesn’t giving away your stuff make you feel good? Do we really need 3 dish sets?? etc.

    Kiera: You certainly offer food for thought. I think everyone really needs to step back and recognize wants/needs.

    Working From Home: You are right that our great-grandparents likely would have tithed and sacrificed to do so. The issue is in todays society so many of us are in debt, no savings etc and should we still tithe when our own financial house is not in order? We all could learn a lot from our ancestors about how to manage a household and finances without credit cards.

    Kyle: Wow! Well said. You certainly made me think. It’s nice to hear comments from the perspective of a person of the cloth.

    Karen: I think you said it wonderfully with: “I don’t think God wants us to go into debt to honour him, but I also don’t think he wants us to go into debt for “stuff”.”

    As for stores being open 7 day/wk, why not? I can go to the library, swimming, the drugstore, restaurants, movies etc. Why shouldn’t I be able to by my groceries on Sunday? I work until 10pm each night so customers can call and discuss their banking needs with me at their convenience. My husband works 12 hour rotating shifts in his trade. Our companies don’t NEED to be open 24 hours/day but they choose to be so that they can service their clients. It’s part of my job. If I can’t handle the hours I need to find something more suited to my needs.

  44. God blesses those who tithe. I have NEVER seen anyone who tithes go without. It is a faith thing, not an obligation. It is not the Lord’s problem that the government takes their share first. It is not necessary to debate the specifics of tithing. Ask any Christian that tithes faithfully how they are doing financially and without a doubt you will hear of the multitude of blessings that the Lord has poured on them. Tithing is trust. It is the belief that when we are faithful to God he will bless us two fold. It is really wrong to try to talk someone out of tithing, it is what they believe is right, and are committed to.

  45. God helps those who help themselves!
    I don’t know exact source of the original quote.

  46. Theresa – when you tithe, your money does not go to God, it goes to the church. Those are two are not one in the same.

    Ok, everyone’s been talking about this 10% thing. What if you donated 10% of your time? If your work week is 40 hours, then 10% of that is 4 hours a week. So, volunteer at your church or an organization that is devoted to improving the lives of others less fortunate for 4 hours a week.

    I believe actions speak louder than words and you can’t buy your way into Heaven. So give 10% or 50% or 100% of your paycheque to the church, it doesn’t mean you’re more or less entitled to God’s love than anyone else.

  47. “I have NEVER seen anyone who tithes go without. It is a faith thing, not an obligation. ”

    That’s not religion, that’s superstition. I’ve never been fired from a job while wearing a grey shirt; should I have faith that grey clothes secure my income?

  48. I work at a church. I am also in debt that I am paying off. I do tithe, but not 10%. There are months that I don’t give at all. I do give of my time and talents. Interestingly we had a class 2 years ago about money management. It was good that there were older people in it who basically said, don’t go into debt. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. We had one girl join the church that asked our pastor if we required 10%. His response was that what ever she gave, whether time or money was between her and God, not her and some church rule that says you have to give 10%. I do know that there are churches out there that do require that and if you aren’t meeting that requirement, will say something to you.
    I agree with Gail about getting out of debt first. If you are a believer, you don’t have unnecessary debt.

  49. I live in southern Manitoba, which is consistently ranked by StatsCan as the most giving area in Canada. I think this is due almost entirely to two things: farming culture, and Mennonite culture. People who are not rich by any means regularly set aside money to donate either to their church or to other organizations. They habitually donate their time and skills as well. I personally am an outsider and don’t belong to either culture, but I see it at work, and those are aspects that I really admire.

    It’s also nearly impossible to do any shopping at all on a Sunday. This can get annoying at times (even some gas stations are closed), but it forces me to plan ahead when it comes to grocery shopping and other necessary items which is a good thing. It also means that whether you use the time to attend church or not, pretty much everyone is guaranteed some family time, regardless of socio-economic status. I think there’s a whole lot of unquantifiable value in that.

  50. oh, and as for the whole tithing thing? I observe that those who tithe as a matter of faith also concurrently practice other habits that contribute to good financial standing. For example, you can’t give 10% of your income (gross or net) from your heart as an expression of your heartfelt thankfulness for all the blessings you’ve received, and not also be a good steward of your earthly possessions. That might include accepting hand-me-downs, making your own food instead of eating out, or any other number of practices that fall under the heading of good financial sense.

    In other words, God’s laws work when you follow the spirit of the law. If I start giving 10% of my income because I’d rather do that than set aside the 20% or more it will take to repay my debts, hoping that God will magically dig me out of the hole that I got myself into by spending on unneccessary luxuries that I could not afford, then I somehow think my ‘faith’ will not be honoured…because I’m not acting in accordance with God’s laws. On the other hand, if I give from my heart (the parable of the widow who gave her last pennies comes to mind) either of my money or my time or my talents, (the key being that those things are truly mine and not owed to anyone else) I do believe that God honours that.

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