How I Went Broke When I Started to Tithe. Seriously.


Yesterday, at Next Level Church, Todd talked to us about the importance of giving. He shared a fairly startling statistic about church goers and tithing, and how the national average of people who tithe regularly is somewhere around 9%.

This is a pretty low percentage, but yet – I get it. I totally understand how hard it is to part with money. It took me a long time to develop a real, genuine understanding of tithing and a desire to be obedient in doing it.

Years ago, I was sitting in a church, listening to the pastor give an amazing sermon on giving 10% and I was SOLD. I was a struggling single mother – living on the bare minimum. No TV, no car payment, no “fun” money…just rent, utilities, groceries and daycare. I literally had NO extra money to spare. But he incited a passion in me, and I just couldn’t WAIT to tithe and feel the love of God rain down upon me.

So off I went, writing those tithing checks every pay period, literally watching my bank account sink further and further into the red. Yep, I started bouncing checks. Overdraft fees accumulated. But I remembered the pastor’s sermon, I kept on giving, and I kept on overdrawing my bank account.

Let me remind you at this time in my life, I very literally had NO unnecessary expenses. There was nothing for me to move around or sacrifice so that I could tithe and breathe easier. And Iā€™m sure you are waiting for me to end this story with an amazing account of how money appeared like magic in my bank account and I was able to pay the bills and life has been rainbows and lollipops ever since. But that’s not what happened.

I decided to email the pastor and explain my situation. I told him how much Iā€™d been inspired, I told him how desperately I wanted to tithe, and I told him what serious hot water I was in because of it. He responded kindly, gave me some advice and hooked me up with a financial counselor with the church. Long story short, the church was able to help me get back on my feet. What did that experience teach me? I am ashamed to admit it didn’t teach me what it should have.

Honestly, I felt kind of mad. And a little miffed – I mean, I wasn’t expecting thousands of dollars to show up at my door…but I definitely wasn’t expecting to have to be referred to a financial counselor after digging myself into a hole by following God’s word. I was kind of turned off by the whole experience, and it was a long time before I felt ready to give again.

So there I was sitting in the auditorium yesterday listening to Todd talk about how important it is to give, and I realized that without that experience, I would not be where I am today. Even though I was scared to tithe for awhile, I still attended church frequently – built great relationships, furthered my journey in being a Christ follower, developed talents and gifts I never knew I had, and probably the greatest thing of all – ended up meeting the person who will become my husband in T minus 19 days. (Sidenote: HOLY COW that is coming fast!)

My blessings from giving were not an immediate, tangible thing. Neither a brand new car or a Publishers Clearing House check arrived at my house. I continued along as a struggling single mother. But when the church helped me crawl out of that hole, it set me down a path to where I am now and that is one of the most precious and intangible blessings one can ever receive. I now know Christ better than I did before that experience. It took a long time though – none of that happened overnight and I didn’t even RECOGNIZE the blessing that came from it until yesterday.

I am hoping many people will prayerfully consider the 4 month tithe challenge and am looking forward to hearing the stories of those who do!

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5 thoughts on “How I Went Broke When I Started to Tithe. Seriously.”

  1. What a GREAT post! I love your honesty. I love how God’s blessings are not always what we think they should be, nor are they always financial. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. have you seen the video harrison did last year of our stuggle with the 4 month tithe challenge? we took the challenge, started tithing 10% and michael lost his job. then we came within weeks of losing out house. God showed up for us in a interest free loan but He showed up in more ways than that. He PROVED to us that if we are faithful and trust in Him, he is gonna come through in ways we will NEVER expect. and not just being the God of making sure we have the newest car, toy, ipod etc. but the God of having a new heart for Him and for furthering His kingdom! i love that NLC issues the challenge but backs it up with a money back guarantee. you have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

    thanks for sharing friend

  3. Love this!!! I remember hearing this story….love that you have seen God’s hand on your life…and not just financially!

  4. Kay, I DID see that video – I totally thought of you guys when I was writing this šŸ™‚ Pretty awesome stuff.

  5. I remember us talking about tithing at work one day. I am excited to watch from afar (as a fb stalker, of course šŸ˜‰ what God has/is/will done/doing/do in your life. So happy for you and will be thinking about you this week!!

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