Day 4: Tithing

Main Point: To whom much is given, much is required.

Today’s assignment (Jan. 15): If you aren’t a tither, make a list of reasons why you don’t tithe.

  • I don’t think I can’t afford to tithe.
  • If I did tithe, I’d only want to tithe on my net income.
  • I am afraid I won’t have enough money to pay debt collectors.

B. Add up all the nonessential expenses you had in the last month, such as cable, eating out, going to the movies, etc. How much are you spending on these?

I don’t really know, because I didn’t track every expense. Plus December is an odd month, considering all of the gift purchases and traveling.

C. Figure out how much your tithes would be per month and compare this with the money you spent on nonessentials. Do you see places you can cut your expenses to find the money to tithe?

Want I wanted to buy today, but didn’t:

  1. Nothing really.

What was easy about today?

Not having to spend any money on food. I need to vary my meals to keep from getting sick of one particular item, but eating out hasn’t presented a real challenge. I guess that’s because I did have Wendy’s on Monday. Let’s see how I feel next Thursday.

I also got the courage to actually freeze my credit cards. I took them out of my wallet this morning, but that was good enough. I’ll try to see how long I can go without thawing them.

What was hard about today?

The hardest part about today was today’s chapter about tithing. I’ve never really tithed even when I was going to church regularly. I don’t tithe at all given that I don’t attend church. It was hard to think about forking over money based on my gross income, not my net – as in what I actually bring home.

Other parts of the day weren’t hard, but strange. This morning, I thought ‘Is floss a necessity? Is the ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese a necessity for the baked pasta shells I want to make?’ This fast is really making me be nit-picky. That’s good.

What did I learn from today’s chapter?

Singletary said you’re also supposed to give a tenth of profits made outside of your regularly paycheck, too. Michelle Singletary and her husband tithe on their gross income – what they actually wish they’d earn before taxes were taking out. Wow. She said she pays her tithe before her mortgage even.

This chapter made my question not only why I never tithed, but also why I don’t attend church. It’s something I’ve justified because I’m away from home and my devout grandmother. The “tithing” chapter has me thinking “Could I be missing out because I’m not a practicing Christian?” Hmmm…

About two months ago, I was had this very conversation with an acquaintance. She’d tithe even on a $5 gift from someone. That’s right. Fifty cents. I thought she was nuts. But she said that she always has what she needs and recently bought a new car. Maybe I’ll get there one day. Maybe.

What I was feeling today about my finances?

I felt that I could really get the hang of this. I felt that I could get out of debt by plugging away. It’s a process, not a quick fix. Patience and discipline pays off.

Side note

Family friend and journalist Glenn Burkins liked the piece I originally wrote for Clutch Magazine. But now it’s on After I corrected her book title, Michelle Singletary tweeted it to her followers. I hope people dig it.

QCityMetro Post


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