Should I continue giving money to a church if I’m in debt?

This is a touchy subject.

There are those who argue one should give financially regardless of the situation. Others believe it is okay to temporarily stop giving if necessary. This dilemma can be a difficult one to deal with.

Don’t be selfish.

Giving allows us to focus our attention on others. One who gives tends to be less selfish. A less selfish person cares about the needs of those around them. Giving allows us to serve others.

It’s not always about the money.

What we give doesn’t always have to be monetary. A warm coat or a hot meal means much more than money to a cold and hungry homeless person. Caring for our church is no different than caring for individuals. What is important to remember is that we should give something. That may not always mean giving financially.

It is possible to dedicate a little more of your time and talents to helping your church in lieu of giving financially. Perhaps you can provide a service to your church that will keep them from having to pay for that service. Saving your church on expenses is as good a gift as putting money in the offering plate. One simply needs to ask their pastor what they can help with outside of service hours. They will be offered many opportunities to benefit their church without having to offer a financial gift.

A temporary solution.

If non-financial giving is the route one chooses, it is important not to make it permanent. The purpose of temporarily suspending monetary tithes and offerings should be done with the purpose of getting one’s self to a position where they have an emergency fund and positive cash flow whereby they pay off all debts except their home. This places them in the best position to provide for their families and the church simultaneously. There are trained theologians who would disagree with this advice. Some believe in a strict interpretation that says one should give no matter the circumstance. What happens if following this advice prevents one from being able to provide for themselves or their family? Aren’t we called to do that? We should all be in a position to give. Unfortunately, many people have not put themselves in that position.

Here’s the Bottom Line

God calls us to give to be more like him. He doesn’t make it a condition of salvation. With the right spirit, temporarily stopping financial payments to the church and giving of one’s time and talents will allow them to not only make up for the temporary suspension, but to give on a level never imagined before.

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