How can you tithe when you are barely getting by?
I’m writing this post to encourage those of you who feel like you’re barely getting by financially. You wonder how it’s even possible to tithe, because by the time you pay your necessary bills, there’s absolutely nothing left over. I’ve been there! I understand! If you’re feeling convicted to tithe, that is from the Lord. I want to share with you ways to make your tithe a reality, so that you will be blessed in ways you’ve never imagined. God wants more for you! He’s just waiting on you to do your part.
How can you tithe when you are barely getting by?
#1 ~ Get your priorities in order.
The Bible says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:33
What are all these “things” that Jesus is talking about?
If you back up to verses 31-32, He says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
Jesus is talking about having your basic needs met! That means that your electric bill will be paid. Food will be available to you, and clothes will be provided. So, are you seeking Him first, above all else? If not, this is the first place that you need to start with. You seek Him by reading His Word and communicating with Him through prayer and praise. Make this a daily habit and watch things begin to change in your life.
#2 ~ Test Him
You heard me right! Test the Lord! He actually tells you to do it.
Malachi 3:10 (AMP) says, “Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it.”
How do you test the Lord in this area? Although it may be extremely difficult for you, you’re going to have to give your tithe first, before allocating a single penny to anything else. It may not seem like you’ll be able to make your house payment or buy groceries, but this is all a part of the test.
The real test is you trusting Him to bless you after you’ve been obedient to His Word.
Don’t expect immediate results! Sure, some may receive a financial miracle right away, but that’s most likely not how it will happen. God is also watching you to see if you still trust Him with your next paycheck, when nothing seemed to happen with your first one.
I’ve tithed my entire life. That’s definitely the easiest way to always be sure to tithe…start out with your very first job!
There was a time that came however, where I felt really tested by God. It was by no fault of our own, that the money going out, was greater than the money coming in. I remember needing to borrow food from a friend. Another sweet friend gave us enough money to go to the dollar movie theater so we could enjoy some family time together. Those days were the toughest financial days of my adult life.
I remember one time when I literally only had $2 left to my name. I was planning on buying my two boys a sandwich from McDonald’s. That would’ve been a real treat to them. Instead, God prompted me to put my last 2 dollars in the offering plate at church. Tears filled my eyes as I put the money in. Part of it was because I really wanted to treat my boys, but the other part was because I knew that my obedience to Him in those tough moments of life, would bring me blessings. I was testing Him!
#3 ~ Give in whatever ways you are able
But how can you give, when you don’t have enough to get by on? The key here (for now), is that you don’t just have to give actual money.
How about giving your time to serve others?
Churches are always needing help. You can also volunteer somewhere. What are you passionate about? Start there and see if there’s a fit for you to serve somehow. The options are endless. Some possibilities are senior centers, homeless shelters, boys and girls homes, and animal shelters. Maybe you can just help out a friend who needs a babysitter, or an elderly neighbor who could use some help with housework or lawn care.
Look around you right now. What do you have that isn’t being used? Could someone else benefit from it? If so, you’ve just found another way to give.
Bless someone with the things you no longer want or need.
What seems insignificant to you, may be a real blessing to someone else.
One really important thing about your giving, is that you do it with joy. Don’t do it because you feel guilted into it. Find joy in the gift of being able to bless someone else. The Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver! (2 Corinthians 9:7)
#4 ~ Trust Him
I know how scary it is to trust Him with your money.
A key thing to remember is that it is ultimately HIS money, and He asks you to be faithful with what He’s given you.
If you can’t be faithful with the little things (or be faithful while you are broke), then you cannot be trusted with more.
Luke 16:10 says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”
There was a time for my family when it all came down to either tithing or paying our house payment. We had never been late on a house payment before. I cried over this situation and became physically sick over it. After much prayer, I decided to tithe and send in what I could on the mortgage. I can’t remember how long it took (but it was within weeks), I found out that we had money owed to us though www.missingmoney.com. This is a real site! We received our money within a month after filling out the forms. It was almost exactly the rest of the money that we needed to make the house payment. Yes, our payment was partially late, but God was faithful to us and I had peace in my heart that we had made the right choice.
Friends, I wish I had easier answers for you. But God sometimes requires a lot out of us before we start to see things turn around.
I’ve been following these principles my whole life to the best of my ability. I can tell you that these are His promises to us when we remain faithful to Him.
I think about Malachi 3:10, where He says to test Him and He’ll pour out a blessing that we don’t have room enough to receive. When I look at where I am now in life, I know that He’s made good on His promises to me. It didn’t happen overnight, but I can truly say that I am blessed beyond measure. I can’t tell you how many times that my husband and I stayed faithful with our tithes, even though we weren’t sure how we’d make it.
In those times, God always came through for us. Sometimes it was an unexpected check in the mail (yes, that really happened). Other times it was a friend just blessing us out of the blue. One time when we were really struggling, someone in our church anonymously blessed us with $1,000! I still don’t know who it was, but I’ll never forget it. You don’t have to tell a single person about your situation. God knows! And He already knows His plans for blessing you. He’s just waiting on you to step out in faith!
This year has already been so full of blessings for my family. It’s hard to believe that we were once the family that struggled so much just to put food on the table. I say all this to encourage you. Start putting these principles to use and more importantly, stick to it when times get tough.
God’s Word is truth! Stand on it and get ready to receive your blessings!
Be blessed my friends!