How do I decern what to use the money God has entrusted me with on. I know of the 10 percent tithe but how else should we as Christians spend money. Is spending money on ourselves for things like chloths okay? And I guess that also raises the question how much is enough. Thank you
This is such a great question, and one we need to stop and reconsider all through our lives. We can also expand the question to ask; How do I discern how I use all the things that God has given me? God has given me talents (skills) that make it able to be able to work and earn the money in the first place, has granted me health to also be able to earn a living. I can use all for his glory; my talents, skills, money, time and resources.
We also have responsibilities in life that we need to pay for; food for ourselves and family for which God has entrusted us; yes clothes, housing and all the normal needs. I don’t think that the rest of life is ‘unspiritual’ use of money; as opposed to ‘spiritual’ use of money to give to church or people in need. If we can take a step back from money as one resources and ask how can I wisely use all the resources entrusted to me.
I liked how Andy Stanley puts it - a percentage is good, if someone isn’t giving a percentage at all, then start small and make it sustainable and a deliberate decision at the start of the year, as well as being open to give to once off needs as they come up. The following year a person might up the percentage. But he then gave an interesting story of carrying your own burdens vs carrying the burdens of others in Galatians 6:2 and 6:5 – if you are watering your neighbours garden and making their lawn nice and green but yours is full of weeds then you have your priorities out of balance. You need to learn to carry your own load first (normal everyday life things like keeping a job, paying your bills, looking after your family), and then you can help carry another’s burdens (that is help with major life trauma like death, serious illness, huge life events that nobody can carry alone and need help with). He warned against carrying another’s everyday load because you’re enabling them to be irresponsible, and your depleting your own family at their expense.
He said he doesn’t preach on giving a tithe because then people get the idea that 10% is God’s and 90% is mine to spend on myself. Everything has been given by God to us (our health, and our personal skills so we can earn a decent wage, our temperament towards money whereby we can be wise with it).
For the record, I have been taught to tithe; and it is a good percentage to work with.
When we give, we also want to try to give anonymously as it says in Matthew 6:1-4; because as it says “when we give quietly, our Father in heaven will reward us openly”.
just a few thoughts that come to mind. If you want an encouraging message you could have a listen to John Lennox message on wealth and eternity. It’s a call to do well with our resources, rather than us separating our lives into ‘this is what God gets, and this is my part of my life to do with as I wish’.
hopefully just a few thoughts to get you thinking further.
@Daniel.S thank you very much for posting this great question. Jesus did quite a bit of teaching about money. This article sums up a tale of two kingdoms well. I will start with the scriptures then share some solid advice, I heard from a couple of pastors, which has served me well over the years.
Tithing & Giving
I believe these two are what we see in the bible. Just yesterday I read the book of Hebrews and the passage of Abraham tithing to Melchizedek, which refers back to Genesis 14:20, really stood out to me. Tithe means one-tenth or 10%. A pastor taught me that this being the first fruits would be before TAX.
In the new testament, we see believers giving above 10%. Examples of this are in Acts ch. 2 & 4. In ch. 4 we read, "There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
I will share this advice which I learned from a pastor from Hong Kong. He said “when you move to a city, (he was preaching to a group of travelers). When you leave that city, you want to be able to see what you gave to that city not what you got from it”. This has really stuck with me in regard to giving.
Another pastor from the states taught me to do the following with your finances:
- Firstfruits are an offering to God (10% before TAX)
- 15% into savings (Proverbs 13:22)
- Pay off all debt, starting with the smallest first
- Create an emergency fund of about 3 months
To answer your question it is fine to buy the things we need, such as clothes, a nice meal out and things you like. I do not think you will find an exact answer to your question, how much anywhere though. It is a very important question though as Jesus said, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
Yes thank you for that wisdom, and that really is important that we do all things as unto the Lord, thank you very much again.
Thank you brother that article really made it clear how it’s ether for Gor or ourselves. And ultimately giving is so much more satisfactory. That least verse is very crucial I need to keep that in mind, thank you