Tithing and Giving While Getting Out of Debt

Written by Dave Ramsey on . Posted in Finance

davernewDear Dave,

Do you recommend that people continue tithing and giving while getting out of debt?

Sarah

Dear Sarah,

If you’re tithing, that would refer to you being a Christian or of the Jewish faith. To the best of my knowledge, those are the only two religions where tithing is taught as a part of the faith. The word literally means “a tenth,” as in a tenth of your income.

If you are an evangelical Christian, what does Scripture say? It says to take the tithe off the top before you do anything else. You keep doing it always, not from a legalistic perspective, but because it’s part of God’s instructions on the best way to live. It gives you a baseline for giving and generosity.

Then, get yourself and your household cleaned up and in good financial shape before engaging in other acts of giving, which are called offerings. This is the normal process that Scripture outlines. But remember, God is crazy about you and loves you very much. When you give, it’s the act of being unselfish and putting others first.

—Dave

Two free spirits


Dear Dave,

What’s your advice to a couple when they’re both Free Spirits with money?

Steve

Dear Steve,

Being a Free Spirit just means you don’t major in details. You’re not the number cruncher, and you don’t wear a pocket protector. But being a Free Spirit doesn’t mean you can’t be a grown up. Maturity isn’t what I’m talking about here, and neither is initiative. I’m just talking about your personality style, and how you address life in general.

In my house, I’m the Nerd and my wife is the Free Spirit. I’m a naturally detail-oriented person who likes a solid, well-reasoned plan. My wife enjoys a plan, and she doesn’t mind sticking to one, but that’s not her default button. It doesn’t mean you’re not a grown up just because your default button doesn’t go straight to spreadsheets. And just because you’re like that doesn’t mean you can’t lay out a game plan and say, “Hey, we make too much money to waste it all. We have too much coming in every month to be deep in debt and broke!”

Being a Free Spirit just means you have to concentrate a little harder on the details, because those kinds of things just aren’t your nature. I mean, you have to pay attention to enough of the basic details if you want to win with money, but that’s true with almost any endeavor.

Want to know something else I’ve noticed about Free Spirits? In most cases, they’re extremely generous people. When they care about something or someone, they really care. And the fact that you’re thinking about these things leads me to believe you’re going to be all right. Just be intentional, Steve. Do it with a goal and a plan in mind, and do it on purpose!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover,EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

Author Information
Dave Ramsey
About:
David L. "Dave" Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American financial author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker. His show and writings strongly focus on encouraging people to get out of debt.

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