giving and tithing

The Best Investment We Have Ever Made

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For the past 10 months, I have been wanting to write today’s post.

What Changed For Us

Over the past year, Andrea and went from saying we were followers of our Christian faith to actually putting action into our belief. Looking back, we were “Sunday Christians” meaning we attended Church around the holidays, prayed only when we wanted something to go our way, and did the absolute bare minimum so we could get into Heaven 🙂

Last Spring, we together decided to make some financial changes in our lives. We made the decision to become active in our faith.

We were re-baptized, became members of a church, joined a small neighborhood group, started actively talking to our kids about God, started volunteering in the church coffee shop, and then we did what I had always been reluctant to do in the past.

We started giving 10% of our gross income to the church.

 

This Was Our Why

One of the main reasons we wanted to get out of debt was so we could have the ability to generously give our money to those in need. I remember reading stories of people who were unbelievable financial givers, and we both wanted to experience those same things.

We wanted the ability to give to a family in a financial crisis.

We wanted to leave the $200 tip for the pregnant waitress working the week of Christmas.

We wanted to help purchase the expensive therapy equipment needed by a child with special needs.

We wanted to help send a friend on a mission trip to Bulgaria to re-build a school.

We wanted to donate to a widow who was just starting over in life.

Simply put; we wanted to witness the blessings money could have on others if managed the right way.
giving and tithing

Is it Really Our Money?

This was the question that stuck in our minds. Is it really our money? I believe the answer to that question may be different for many people, but for us the answer became a definitive “no”.

We look at everything being His, including His money.

We realized if we couldn’t live off of 90% of our income, then we couldn’t really live off 100% either. 

Therefore, when we understood God only wanted 10% of His money back, the decision we made together to start writing out those weekly checks became a reality. We started tithing, or giving a tenth of our income to our church. However, this time our giving was different; we didn’t see the immediate effect of what we have always seen in the past in terms of giving. Instead, we were sending our money to the church based on faith.

 

Was it Difficult?

Truthfully, it was very hard in the beginning to decide to take a tenth of our income and willfully give it to the church and then let them decide where it goes. We initially felt we were losing a little bit of the control we have enjoyed with our life and our money over the past five years, and that was hard to get our minds around.

Since 2011, we had paid off our debt, built an emergency fund, and invested on a monthly basis into retirement and our kids college.  Our financial lives have been running on autopilot and it was awesome! We knew where every dollar was going, had a good idea of how much we would have at retirement, and how much each kid would have to start college. It felt like bada-bing-bada-boom, and we loved it!

However, once we made the decision to tithe, all of this was going to have to change. We were giving up control and putting it all in His hands. If I told you this was easy, I would be lying.

 

A Year Later

Just like anything in life, if you do it enough times, it will become a habit. For us, giving 10% to the church has become habit – a good habit.

I am sure you are waiting for the cliché story of the family who started tithing to the church and became blessed with thousands more and this ends up being the moral of the story. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works 🙂 But, I will share with you what Andrea and I have both received from simply sending 10% of His money back to Him.

We Worry Less

The moment we decided to start writing the check to the church, we erased a little bit of the stress we didn’t realize was there. It doesn’t make sense to give up a little bit of control and then worry less, but faith isn’t always dependent on what makes sense or what you can see. It’s what you believe.

We See More

In the moment we didn’t see it right away, but looking back over the past year, we see more than we ever had in the past. They say hindsight is always 20/20, and this couldn’t be more apparent in our lives. Too many coincidences have happened for us to believe they were merely a coincidence. We now know they were blessings.

We will never know if it is a direct result of faithfully sending out our tithe, but the return we have had on our investment in His kingdom over the past year has been beyond coincidence. The relationships we have created within our community, the people that have entered our lives, the blessings we have both received at work, and the tremendous growth this blog has had, have all been too much to simply look at as coincidence.

Financially, We Feel the Exact Same

It doesn’t quite make sense, but financially we haven’t felt a thing. We cut back 10% of our income from our budget and we are still here today to talk about it. As a money-nerd who utilizes a spreadsheet for every aspect of life :), it completely boggles the mind. How could we cut out 10% and not feel a thing? Remember, faith doesn’t have to make perfect sense. This is why it is called faith.

 

Related: Start your own Monthly Budget

Oh Yeah…We Pay Less to the Government

Part of being good stewards of money is managing your money responsibly. Our goverment allows us to deduct our tithe to the church, so we will definitely take the deduction! Remember, we aren’t just managing our money, we are managing His money. It is our responsibility to make certain we are managing it well, and this includes taking the dedcution 🙂

 

Related: The 48 Tax Deductions You May be Forgetting About

 

My Message to You

I truly don’t believe you can buy your way into Heaven by giving a tenth of your income to the church. In fact, I don’t believe you should have to give any money at all to the church….unless you feel you want to.

This was the greatest misconception that had weighed on my shoulders for the longest time. I believed the church wanted their money and they were eventually going to shame it out of me.

What first needed to happen for Andrea and I, was we needed to have faith. Not just the show-up-to-church-on-Sunday faith, but a belief in something bigger than ourselves. We believe things happen in life (and in order) for a reason, and for a moment in the Spring of 2016, we both came to the realization we wanted to be faithful financial givers to the church. We wanted to give up complete control of this financial security blanket we had built, and we were going to rely on something we couldn’t exactly make sense of, but we could believe – faith.

Andrea and I feared for a long time that sending 10% of our income to the church would wreak havoc on OUR financial plan.

The reality is: it wasn’t really OUR plan in the first place. It was His, and His plan is better.

 

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What about you?

What do you believe? I would love to hear your thoughts on this post, on your life, and what you agree and disagree with.
Please post your comments below.

 

Thanks for reading the Money Peach Blog,

 

-Chris Peach

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33 replies
  1. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    “Give, and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.” -Luke 6:38 “Bring all tithes into the storehouse, there there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” -Malachi 3:10

    The Word is clear: tithing for the sake of blessing God and obeying God will result in blessings for the giver. We’ve seen this work in great abundance in our lives. Good for you guys!

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Laurie!

      Thank-you for your comment. You are 100% spot on and your comment reassures me that I should have posted this 10 months ago when I first thought about it. Thanks again Laurie 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jonathan Garvey
    Jonathan Garvey says:

    This is awesome! Tithing was a little easier for our family because both my wife and I were taught to do it (and saw it in action) from a very early age. Even so, it can be difficult to just give money without knowing exactly where it is going and what your return is going to be, especially when things are tight. Nevertheless, it’s worth it! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hey Jonathan!

      Thanks so much for your comment and for reading the Money Peach Blog 🙂 Our goal for Andrea and I is our kids see us giving and it becomes second nature to them. The apple never falls too far from the tree, and apparently it didn’t for you either. You’re right – it’s worth it!

      Reply
  3. Carol Z
    Carol Z says:

    i am going to leave a comment but first you have to understand my heart. I love God and put Him first each and everyday. I love people and any criticism I say is from my heart and I pray it helps. Now in my opinion and I see it a lot what you are doing is buying your faith. The 10% thing is not meant to be done by all it is a suggestion not command. If you want to feel closer to God it has to come from the heart not the pocket. You spoke about helping others that was fantastic, that is what you should be doing just do it humbley. Give cash to them and when they say thank let them know it comes from God. I do give some towards my congration but most of my monthly giving goes to people. I just tell them it comes from God and 99% of the time we get into the Bible. God would rather you share your faith then your wealth. I watch your wife most everyday and I like your emails. I think you both are fantastic people with two of the cutest children I have ever seen. With Gods love, Carol

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Carol,

      I really appreciate and respect your comment. It’s not easy to jump into the talk about God, money, and all the different opinions people have, and I would like to first say thank-you for the feedback. I have thought about what you said; “buying my faith”, and I have a hard time agreeing with you. I think if our goal was to buy our faith, we would have continued with only giving money to those in need with the immediate return on our investment of seeing the effect money had on others. And, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that at all. However, by choosing to be faithful in with our tithe, I would say it is just the opposite of buying our faith or buying our way into Heaven. For us, we are both very driven to the point where it is difficult to give up full control of something. By choosing to tithe, we feel it is more of us giving up full control of our life and money and letting Him decide. Thanks again Carol for the comment 🙂

      Reply
      • Carol Z
        Carol Z says:

        Thank you for understanding that I meant nothing bad. God Bless you and your family. I thank God every day to allow all of us to have our own opinions and choices. Take care ?

        Reply
  4. Aaron Wright
    Aaron Wright says:

    Great write up!

    A few years back, my wife and I had the spreadsheet, crunch the numbers but they never worked out. One day we decided to tithe, like really tithe, not the 10 or 20 bucks we had on us but the ten percent. It was a leap of faith since it wasn’t in the budget to do so but we figured the budget was broke anyway so what did we have to lose. Little did we know, the budget was broke because we tried to be in charge of it. We will never forget those next few weeks. Unexpected money kept coming in covering the entire tithe until both of us received wage increases exceeding the tithe. Lucky timing? I don’t think so…Want to worry about money less? Like everything else, put God in charge of it.

    -Aaron

    Reply
  5. Jenny villa
    Jenny villa says:

    Wow wow was just talking about this subject and dwelling on it and then got your email!! Gods timing is always perfect I tell you! Thank you for this!! I needed to read this!

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Jenny!

      Everything happens for a reason and there is your plan, my plan, and then His plan. I am so glad I sent that email just when it was on your mind. Ironic??? I don’t think so 🙂

      Reply
  6. Michele
    Michele says:

    THANK you for this beautiful message on tithing. As a young widow with 6 Kids and my husband passing away at work we were given much at once. And without planning I gave and gave because I wanted those who needed it to have it. Well of course over time it ran out and I was living pay check to pay check. But the Lord provided a job and I have total trust in Him that He will provide for me when the kids are grown and out of the house. I’m still learning but committed to God who is faithful to forgive and provide all our needs and I will tithe because I know it’s through the willingness of His people and the power of the holy spirit that He can do His work.

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      WOW. Thank-you for sharing this story with everyone Michele. I cannot imagine losing my spouse unexpectedly and then having to provide for 6 kids! You are beyond inspiring and I really love how you talked about your commitment to your faith even when there are the questions of “why”. Thanks for sharing and thanks for reading the Money Peach Blog! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Jenise
    Jenise says:

    PREACH BROTHA!!! I have always been a tither as I too believe that it’s not “my” money, it is The Lord’s… at any moment it can all go away just to prove a point that HE is our provider – NOT the money. I am in debt because of poor choices and am trying earnestly to get out because I do believe we are to owe no man nothing but to love them and this yolk is not what the Lord would want on any of us. Thus why I’m on your list. Thank you for writing this post and for ministering through your business…this blog is His after-all, right? 😉 So happy to meet fellow believers! May the Lord continue to bless and keep you and your family and may He bless you for taking the leap to sew into His Kingdom. He is not unjust to forget your sacrifice and labor for Him and He will return unto you 100 fold of what you give,,,you’ve already starting seeing it! Thank you for your courage to encourage others and may He continue to grow and bless this blog…Amen! 🙂

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Jenise!

      Thank-you so much – it really means a lot! I love how you take 100% ownership when you say “I am in debt because of poor choices…”. I have no doubt you are going to have a great year with paying down that debt. In fact, since you are on my email list, reply to the newsletter and let me know how you are doing every few weeks/months. I would love to hear back 🙂 Take care!

      Reply
  8. Bill H
    Bill H says:

    I read several financial blogs with some regularity. A few weeks ago, I suspected you were a Christian but couldn’t substantiate it further. Very cool to see this post. I’ve tithed since I was an adult and then became a spreadsheet and investing type after. I appreciate your boldness and the entire sentiment of this post.

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hey there Bill! Wow, I appreciate the feedback and for you to take a quick second to post your comment. I was hesitant to post this at first, but now I am so glad I did. Thanks so much for adding Money Peach as one of your financial blogs 🙂

      Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Jennifer!

      Truthfully we did NOT and looking back I really regret it. I have met with so many families who are deeply in debt, upside down within their budget, and the one common thread with those who get to eventually enjoy financial freedom is this: Giving/Tithing was non-negotiable. They were going to give/tithe No. Matter. What.
      The math doesn’t make sense, but most often the math doesn’t really matter. It’s about much much more.
      Great question 🙂

      Reply
  9. Hoz
    Hoz says:

    I have always believed in tithing I always put God first probably the only reason I make it. I want to be a good steward and learn how to get out of debt but I can’t see it and I think we have very little now so cutting off that little bit seems impossible to do even if it is putting an extra ten dollars in my pocket! But God, the first ten percent that I would always sacrifice to make sure I give.
    By you doing this makes me want to follow you more, your blog might be a bigger blessing than you think. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hey there Hoz,

      First off- thanks for your comment. Secondly, my hat goes off to you for continuing to be to send that first 10% to God even when it feels just about impossible to do so. You said it perfectly: “I always put God first..probably the only reason I make it.” Thanks so much for sharing Hoz and I really appreciate the feedback 🙂

      Reply
  10. Selena T
    Selena T says:

    Thank you so much for this great post. I am also a faithful tither and like you said it’s not always easy but the blessings you get that money can’t buy is far greater. The peace and joy I receive from Him daily is a feeling I can’t describe. I have read many financial bloggers and I always come back to moneypeach. Thank you for being an inspiration.

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Selena!

      Thank you so much for the nice comment and for coming back to Money Peach! This is my why and I can’t tell you how much this makes me smile to read your comment. You’re 100% right – tithing is not always easy, but I also think this is another reason why it takes faith. To continue to tither over and over again even when it mathematically doesn’t make sense, it is hard, and you’re not quite certain where the money is going is an act of faith. You are putting it in His hands to do what He believes is the best because after all….it is still His money 🙂

      Reply
  11. Matt Spillar
    Matt Spillar says:

    This is an awesome post Chris! Thanks for sharing your story of faith and the role it’s played in your finances. My wife and I are people of faith as well. It’s hard giving money to the church when we still have debt to payoff, I struggle with finding the right balance of giving now or being debt free sooner to then have the freedom of giving more. We’re not quite at a 10% tithe yet, but we established the good habit and have been increasing with time. We’ve had many similar discoveries to you with our giving. It’s hard to describe to people, because mathematically it doesn’t make sense that giving more actually leads to more happiness and gratitude, but it’s true!

    I especially love the last line of your post:
    “The reality is: it wasn’t really OUR plan in the first place. It was His, and His plan is better.”

    That really says it all, and I 100% agree. Keep it up man and keep spreading the good word!

    Reply
  12. Sue Olds
    Sue Olds says:

    I agree!
    I firmly believe God can make the 90% left go further than I could make the100% go on my own!
    My husband and I have a peace that in any circumstance God has our backs!
    It doesn’t make sense that you can give away 10% of your income and have more, yet somehow that is what happens!

    Thank you for your post!

    Reply
  13. LesLee White
    LesLee White says:

    Thank you so much for your sharing your tithing testimony! My husband and I tithe to our church. We have seen time and time again His hands on our lives. We trust that He has been faithful to us because we follow His commandments. Your family is a blessing to so many. I watch Andrea every morning and am grateful I have stumbled upon your blog!

    Reply
  14. John W Reed
    John W Reed says:

    Tithing is not a command to the Church yet sadly most Churches twist Scripture to make it a command. Thus people end up in bondage of fear of not giving and condemnation when they can’t afford to give that much. People use Malachi, but don’t really interpret it in proper context. God was addressing “this whole nation.” What nation? The Church isn’t a nation. The Nation is Israel. There is a blessing and curse attached to tithing under Law. But tithing isn’t a command for believers. Under the New Covenant Paul speaks of free will giving.
    What I read from your article and my takeaway is y’all seemingly have decent paying jobs, and were already getting out of debt. An issue I have is it seems you relate your receiving some type of blessing that you describe in general terms (so can’t say specifically is or isn’t something supernatural), in connection with your giving. Is your blessing because you paid ten percent? Or is your blessing because God is good?
    I have broke out of my bubble so to speak. I have travelled this globe. I have seen Christians the whole world round. Poverty, suffering, insufficiency don’t begin to describe their situation. Why are they suffering? Because they have nothing to give? Most ministries and churches and websites are merely selling something that’s why they peddle the tithe command for Christians. In the spiel, they proclaim you will receive blessing. When people do tithe and go broke literally, the peddlers say oh you gave with wrong motive. One, they sure had no issue receiving the cash regardless of motive and two, the benefit of receiving blessing was the promise they were peddling when they were proclaiming the tithe.
    In reality, many Churches and ministries mix Law and Grace. Merge the Old Covenant with New. They take a command to tithe (which in many places in Law wasn’t even speaking of money but agriculture) given to Israel and place it on the Church. Before you say Abraham tithed before Law, he did, one time only once. He tithed the spoils of war not his personal wealth. He also sacrificed animals before Law. He also practiced circumcision before Law. Does that mean they are for today as well?
    If you read the New Covenant (The Gospels are Old Testament because it is Jesus resurrection and coming Holy Spirit that started the New not His birth), you see Paul teach free will offering. Note when he taught giving, he said we don’t give of necessity. Necessity would mean a required percentage.
    I applaud your motive to be generous, but that is where you are at. Not all people are there. All the churches preaching tithing for today, are peddling a sanitized form of the prosperity gospel. If you are a giver, or generous you will be blessed etc etc…
    This is what I do, after the grand promises are proclaimed and pronounced by preaches, I look at the orphan, the single mother with 5 kids, the domestic abuse survivor living in a shelter, and see the “promise” made that they should give or they are cursed otherwise. God’s intent is not to make some church rich while the people suffer lack and abide in squalor. Sugar coat it all you want, but I have lived in 7 states, while in the Military and while in Bible College. I have visited several churches and been apart of a few. When the hoopla is over, and the white collar workers who can afford to give much are celebrating, I look at the lower income suffering and see the condemnation and bitterness it produces. In truth we live in a fallen world. There is no guarantee for health and wealth. Yourself are in a great place, but God forbid if a terminal illness struck you or a loved one and you’re facing astronomical medical bills, and literally you can either eat, feed your child, buy their medicine or fund a building where people meet, the choice is yours.
    As for me, I was into this way of life. We gave almost 20% away, because we believed in tithing and being a blessing. However, never did I see supernatural blessings overtake us. What I started to see was, the natural occurrences in life, discounts, IRS refunds, and such were not God’s blessing because we gave money away. I saw sinners, unsaved folk, reaping those exact same rewards.
    I was free from the bondage of mixture, and we began to give as the Spirit directed and not tradition or legalism. We had more money and saw real genuine supernatural blessings when we stopped tithing. Still support the church but also are generous to those in need. Isn’t that what it’s about anyway? Being a blessing? We sponsor poor children in Africa. We have bought people groceries when they were in lack.
    Tithing is not a command for Christians, but free will giving is. There is no curse for giving less than ten percent. Saddens me how churches and ministries place poor people in condemnation for not being able to give. But stats prove it’s poor people who play the lotto, and it’s poor people supporting televangelists, paying for their jets, and churches while they have bills unpaid at home. What should be taught is wisdom in finances and finding the best solutions that individually help those in lack.

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We weren’t always at a place where we could give generously, so I definitely understand what it’s like to be on both sides of the fence so to speak.

      Reply

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