Q. Since I started tithing I can no longer help my family who are in a desperate situation. My mother is completely stressed out and in debt and can quite literally barely put food on the table. Though I know it’s right to tithe, it breaks my heart to see them go without. They relied heavily on me and now I feel terrible I can’t do both, I can’t tithe and help them. How can I be obedient to God and see my family suffer – what should I do?
A. Why don’t you use your tithe money to help them? We are commanded to help others in need as a demonstration of our faith (James 2:15-17) and Paul said helping our family is a top priority (1 Tim 5:8). Your tithing is meant to bring blessings to you and your family, not cause further hardship.
This kind of stewardship is difficult because the enemy will try to plant impure motives in your mind. To prevent this, talk it over with the Lord first and make sure you feel at peace about doing this. Second, be certain you’re not doing for your family what they could and should do for themselves (2 Thes. 3:10).
You will also have to guard against forming the opinion you are the one who is helping them. Your tithe is the Lord’s money and you are just a third party steward. Think of it as Him using you to help them. Studiously avoid taking any credit for yourself and make sure any gratitude they feel is directed to the Lord.