Debt Free Legacy

Is My Biblical Giving Proportionate to My Income?

Is My Biblical Giving Proportionate to My Income?

by Kristi LaMontagne

When we stop and think about it, God owns everything in the natural world and we are merely stewards or managers of what He has entrusted us to take care of. (Ps.24:1, Deut. 8:18). God makes it clear that everything we manage for Him comes from Him. As good stewards, God expects us to wisely manage the three sources that He gives all of us: our Time, Talent, and Treasure.

In Mal.3: 8-12, God instructs us to give back to Him a tenth of what he has given to us. This is the basic amount He asks of us. The Lord also wants us to give freewill offerings to advance His Kingdom and alms (charity) to the poor.

Our tithe is not derived from our net income, after taxes, but from our gross income before taxes! Many people are unaware of this biblical truth. For example, before my husband and I learned this principle, the enemy was vexing us in the area of our finances. By failing to give God the entire tithe, we put ourselves under a curse. (Mal.3: 8-9). After learning this principle, we corrected this misconception and our finances began to get into line with God’s Word so that we were then able to hear how God wanted us to allocate His money. Within one short year, we were on our way to becoming completely debt free, except for our home mortgage…and we hope that soon follows.

Once we understand that the true tithe is what the Bible calls a first fruits obligation, and that it is 10% of our gross income, we see that as God increases our income we should be cheerful about paying a larger tithe in proportion to our income. Offerings and alms are the second and third components of a three part biblical giving plan. These are based on freewill decisions that should be prayerfully made. We certainly encourage you to increase freewill giving as God blesses you with more income.

Is the concept of giving on your “gross income” new to you? Is your response “I can’t afford to give that much”? As things appear right now, this may appear to be true, however according to Mal. 3:10-12, you will find that this is the only place in the bible that the Lord gives us the challenge to test Him. By being obedient and putting God in the middle of your finances, you give Him your permission to break the power of the enemy over your finances and that positions you to enter into the abundance of His blessings! (Jer.29:11) I’m sure glad that we did!

Biblical Giving in Your Family

Biblical Giving in Your Family

by Joyce Shoemaker

My parents never talked to me about tithing, giving, or the sowing of alms. I went to church only when my parents felt like taking me. My only example of biblical giving while growing up was when the offering plate came around; dad would reach in his wallet and drop in a $20 bill, since they only took me to church for Vacation Bible School, Christmas and Easter, I did not develop an understanding of responsible biblical giving. When I began to understand what God’s Word says about biblical giving, I fully realized it was my responsibility to pass on a legacy of financial principles to our children so that their children’s children would walk in the prosperity of God’s promises.

I like what The Message Bible says in Malachi 3:8-10 about being blessed or cursed when we tithe or don’t tithe. “Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. You ask, How have we robbed you? The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse —the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.”

When both of our children began to receive monies, we taught them the principle of the tithe. When they cheerfully gave of their tithe, they received blessings. When they withheld their tithe, they got dropped from their work schedule, or got their hours reduced. They quickly learned and lived the lessons of Malachi. Have you passed the torch of biblical giving to your children? What have you modeled in your generation that will carry on from generation to generation? 
The Message Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8:

“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”

As covenant-keeping Christians, it’s our responsibility to learn what God’s Word says about resources, tithing and giving beyond the tithe. God owns everything and He is our only source of resources. Our children will learn, live and do what we have modeled for them…let it be a godly legacy.



by Elaine Bechtel

Ever ask yourself: “How did my finances get into such a mess?” Or “Is bankruptcy my only option?”

Most often, financial mismanagement or even greed brings us to the point where we feel bankruptcy may be our only option…however, it is almost never a good solution. The Bible warns us in Proverbs 21:17 (NAS) “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man: He who loves wine will not become rich.” And in Psalms 37:21 (NAS) we read, “The wicked borrows and does not pay back. But the righteous is gracious and gives.” Being unable to pay our obligations does not speak well of a God who supplies all of our needs. We may need to ask ourselves a tough question: Are our financial problems the result of satisfying our wants (greed) rather than meeting genuine needs? There is a big difference.

Whatever happened, here are some action steps to help us climb back from the brink of bankruptcy:

  1. Admit your spending habits need to change.
  2. Ask God for help and find an accountability partner.
  3. Take a financial course (like Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus) and learn about freedom from debt action plans.
  4. Put a hold on credit card purchases for now.
  5. Create a debt repayment schedule and commit to repayment.
  6. Call each creditor and discuss your options. Ask that they reduce the interest rate. Let them know that you intend to pay them back.
  7. Outline your repayment plan for them in a letter stating that if you get no response then you will believe that they agree to the plan, and send it by certified mail. (This may possibly help you if they take you to court or turn you over to a collection agency.)

Coming back from the brink of bankruptcy is not easy, but it is the right thing to do. So let Romans 13:8 (NAS) be your guide “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor fulfills the law.” And draw strength and confidence from Philippians 4:13 (NAS) “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”