Thursday, April 15, 2010


I mentioned in my last post that I ran into a problem with the Ten Percent Solution. Well the problem, I encountered is that while 10% is quite easy to do (providing I use it for debt right now), 20% is quite out of the question. So I have to make tough decisions about where that money goes. That is where the discussion with tithing came up between my wife and I.

I wasn't planning on writing about my religious beliefs, but I think it's going to become unavoidable. It's not that I'm embarrassed about it, or don't want to discuss it, but I just wanted to keep the posts and discussion accessible/applicable for everyone regardless of their beliefs. However, it is a big part of my life and I was pretty naive to think it wouldn't come into the picture. So perhaps some of you may find this only as a curious glance into the finances of my Christian life.

If you're Jewish or Christian, you've probably seen the 10% recommendation before, but in another context Tithing. As a Christian I believe that God is the ultimate owner of everything I own. In fact Christian often refer to this as stewardship, which I was recently reading about in my accounting book. A steward is responsible for the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to his or her care. So we believe the money isn't truly ours, but it's only in our care. While many people think a discussion of money is almost un-Christian, I think the mismanagement of funds would be considered more so.

Many non-Christians I talk to seem to think that religion is all about rules. So to clarify this is not a requirement about being a Christian. Its a decision I choose to make because of the impact God has had on my life. The specific amount to tithe is not a rule either, but 10% is often used as a guideline. In fact though, we're encouraged to give much more than that. I'd love to say I'm doing that, but sadly that's not the case.

Just like I've post-poned building wealth until the debt is repaid, I've also post-poned tithing until that same time. I'm sure some would disagree with that concept, but I feel that having the debt for longer than necessary would also be a mismanagement of funds. The plan is to be out of debt in 2 years at which point I'll need to make a decision of what to do with that 10%.

I suppose the decision should be obvious, but I must admit here is where I struggle. While I do believe God provides for us, I'm also a strong believer that he gave us brains to use as well and we can't expect things to be handed to us. I believe it's important to use the skills that we've been given and I believe mine is financial aptitude. My struggle is that I know it's the starting out that is the hardest part and by giving 10% in tithes, my wealth building then becomes extremely difficult to accomplish.

So this is my struggle and in the end I think I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to put my trust where it belongs and rely on God to take care of the rest. If He does want me to be wealthy, then it will happen regardless. However, I just wanted to share in the hopes that maybe it will help someone else with similar struggles. God said that we can only serve one master, either Him or money, and it feels like this depicts that dilemma clearly.

Anyone else with the same struggles? Any tithe levels greater or less than 10%?

If you're interested in any of my other beliefs feel free to comment or send me an e-mail.


  1. tithing can be such a touchy subject for Christians!!! :P Knowing that it isn't a commandment or requirement, and also knowing that we are stewards of more than just money and knowing that He has equipped us with talents, I would say that there are more than one way to "tithe". It's great to give monetarily, but if you're giving out of guilt or even to increase your own finances (as some people believe. After all, you give to God and He blesses you for it, right?) then your heart is in the wrong place, and it's best not to do it. You should be giving the amount you can, and when you can. I don't think God is keeping track of how much we give, but that our hearts are following His. When you serve others, you serve Him! (such as volunteering to coach softball..or bring Timmy's to church one day... etc) I wish it were easier to just trust Him though---we get so caught up on small matters, don't we?! There have been many times that we've not tithed b/c our funds were just too low, but we've "made up" for it in other ways at other times.

  2. Thanks for the great feedback FieryCanuck77.

    One thing I struggle with too, is that like Warren Buffet, I think I can grow the money faster if I keep than if I give it away. Therefore being able to give much more later. I'd love to be able to open a company in a poor country to be able to help people get jobs, skills, and education they wouldn't otherwise get for instance.

    I'm not really seeing it as God keeping track and I know we should give what we can. However, I think in the new testament when it talks about not sticking to 10% it was implying giving more not less. I see a lot of North Americans mismanaging money and then saying they can't afford to give.

    I agree we have other things to give as well. However, my talents are best suited for finances I believe. It's certainly not empathy (I even took a test to confirm this). So it makes it harder to part with money that I feel I could do more with. However, people serving need support now and not just later.

    So while I'm conflicted at times, my motives are good (I think). I wouldn't give to amass wealth, but because it's what God wants me to do and because I trust for him to take care of me and my family. Probably good for me to do it just to give up some control over my own finances. It's not about what I can do.