I have something to say to this but please understand that this is just what went on with me. One thing I know now is that an individual relationship with our precious and all powerful God is and should be deeply personal. If you spend time with Him, seek Him, pray, talk to Him, read about Him and be willing to really listen and hear even the things that you might not like, He will speak to you. So anyway, our family was in a really bad mess, too long to go into here, but it was a real mess. In the middle of it I had to sell something really precious to me to keep utilities on and eat. I had been a hard core tither for 3 years, giving 11% and more at times but no less than 10%. I made 6 figures so I was tithing a nice amount into various ministries. Our fall was hard and fast and we were broke. Pause here, you may think well if you were tithing then how could that happen to you? Well that is too long to go into as well but know this- I wouldn't trade our crash and burn for anything. We needed it, we needed to learn some things, we did it to ourselves. I do however give God and perhaps tithing credit for some of the amazing things that happened during our fall. Anyway, long story short, I had to sell this thing and if I tithed we still wouldn't have enough to keep utilities on and get food. I was driving into my car and began to tear up and ask God what to do. At that moment I really believe God spoke to me and said "Noel, honey, you are okay. I don't need it, go get your finances in order and then we'll talk about tithing again. I know where your heart is." So I didn't tithe on that. Now, I realize this flies in the face of what almost any public preacher or evangelist would say, but I'm telling you it's personal. That was about 4 months ago. I have already started easing back into giving but much more careful now. Trying to use more discernment in my giving. And we are not out of the woods yet, things are still hard, so I didn't wait for it to get good again. That's not faith. God loves us, He is for us, not against us. The short answer to the question is yes, i do think we should continue to give and tithe while trying to get out of debt. But again, go deep with Him, He will tell you what to do.
The real question is what is a tithe? You can't answer if you should tithe until you understand what the bible says about it. Grace Ministries put out an article a while back on the topic and the following is what cleared the confusion for me.
Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (always compulsory), and giving to God (always voluntary).
The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel.
Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today's income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Smaller taxes were also imposed on the people by the law (Leviticus 19:9-10; Exodus 23:10-11). So the total giving required of the Israelites was not 10 percent, but well over 20 percent. All that money was used to operate the nation.
All giving apart from that required to run the government was purely voluntary (cf. Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9). Each person gave whatever was in his heart to give; no percentage or amount was specified.
New Testament believers are never commanded to tithe. Matthew 22:15-22 and Romans 13:1-7 tell us about the only required giving in the church age, which is the paying of taxes to the government. Interestingly enough, we in America presently pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government--a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.
The guideline for our giving to God and His work is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver."
I love this question, since I have been wrestling with this issue for two weeks.
My wife and I have always tithed and given a little more and have really seen God's blessing on our personal finances. Now that I have my own consulting business, I have decided to tithe again on the the business income. Here is where it really makes you rely on God. When expenses are more than income, do you continue to tithe each month and go into your personal savings to pay your business expenses and tithe.
It comes down to trust, faith, and relationship. I have been wrestling with this issue since I know to tithe but see the check book going below zero. What I have noticed, is that my prayer life wasn't as strong and my relying on God was not as strong. Sometimes God allows these situations into our lives because he wants so much more than our Money(tithe), we wants a close, intimate relationship with us. When we joyfully tithe, we are trusting him and saying, I love you and belive you will take care of all my needs. ( Help me to do my part, while you do your part.)
I believe the tithe establishes the covenant that we have with God. We do our part and God does His part! He will multiply our money; that means that we can do much more with our money that is left (90%) than normal if we weren't tithing. That is the promise that we can experience when we are faithful. God loves it when we tithe in faith; that means that when we come to Jesus with our tithe; we should expect that that He will pay all our bills according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. The kingdom of God works completely opposite of the world system. He is our source in everything.
I found this little video here and I would like to share it. It's a bout tithing!
Hope that is ok with everybody!