Should You Keep Tithing When Times Are Hard

tithing when times are hard

I’ve come to conclusion that most people aren’t against tithing. Despite the arguments there are very strong PRO-tithers out there.

They believe it’s God’s will and that God in the long run honors it.

But they don’t do it.


Because of financial constraints. They say, “How can I give away money, when I hardly HAVE any money?”

I know.

I used to say the SAME thing. I’d talk to God like He were a landlord and I was late with the rent:

Lord, You’ll get it when I get it!

So should you keep tithing when times are hard My answer: it really is up to you.

I know what its like to tithe from unemployment money and see NOTHING happen at all. It is extremely discouraging.

Again: it really does depend on you.

I, however, would encourage you to keep tithing when times are hard. Keep testing God.

There ARE benefits to testing God with during hard times:

1. It Teaches Discipline

One of the great things that tithing does is that it teaches discipline. If we’d be honest we’d have to admit the financial binds we were in (or are in) are our faults. Whether from mismanagement, waste, poor thinking that led to self-sabotage, and etc. We are, to a large extent, responsible for our financial histories.

Tithing teaches discipline. When you give away the 10 you learn to properly steward the remaining 90. You learn how to work with and do more with less. Tithing, like fasting is a spiritual discipline–unpleasant at the time but necessary.

And NO ONE can be an effective disciple without discipline.

2. It Changes You

The most famous promise of tithing is in Malachi 3:

“Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10 AMP)

I used to think that the blessing was just money.

But then God I realized God is always more concerned about the root of a thing and not just its fruit. For if you change the fruit without changing the root, you’ll get the same results over and over again. That’s why tithing is not a lottery ticket. You’re not going to bring up your “seed” and see a 1000 fold increase in a week!

It takes time. But the good thing is God uses that time to change and fix us. For He is more concerned about changing the man BEFORE changing his resources.

With tithing God changes us from  people who give into givers; from people looking for wealth into wealthy people.

3. It Honors God

What do you think honors God more:

  • A person who worships Him when things are going right?


  • Someone who worships Him when everything is falling apart?

We already know the answer, don’t we? ;)

This is why Jesus was so fixated with the widow woman who gave her last two coins. This is why Paul focused his attention on the Macedonian church who gave out of their poverty:

“We want to tell you further, brethren, about the grace (the favor and spiritual blessing) of God which has been evident in the churches of Macedonia [arousing in them the desire to give alms]; For in the midst of an ordeal of severe tribulation, their abundance of joy and their depth of poverty [together] have overflowed in wealth of lavish generosity on their part.  For, as I can bear witness, [they gave] according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability; and [they did it] voluntarily.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-3 AMP)

At the end of the sacrifice of giving really does speak volumes!

Patrick Morley, best selling author and founder of one of Florida’s 100 largest privately held companies, was counseling a man who was deeply in debt with no savings. The man was not sure whether he should keep tithing when times are hard. Patrick’s response:

“My own story is that, even though I faced bankruptcy every day for seven years, my wife and I tithed every penny we ever earned—actually more. And God has wonderfully provided for us. We have never lacked for anything. And I was spared from bankruptcy.  My advice would be to keep tithing. I know it’s counter-intuitive, but God honors those who honor Him. You’re going to get through this. Make God bless your decision.”

Does God financially bless tithers? Yes. Absolutely! I can’t promise it’ll buy you a Benz but, in the long run, there is strong scientific correlation between tithing and prosperity.

Or in other words, God honors those who honor Him.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Should we continue giving during tough times? Why? Why not?

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  1. I like what you touched on here about “prosperity.” It is so much more than just material provision. It is the inner well being, the peace and joy of our soul. Like you’ve stated over and over, it’s a matter of the heart. Couldn’t agree more. It all belongs to Him and He casts our fear, which is what makes people hang onto something that can’t save them… Thanks, Mike.

    • Floyd, this is one of those lessons I am learning as I teach. Whenever He takes His time in fixing our circumstance it’s not the circumstance He is after He is after a defect in our character. It all belongs to Him and when we give it to Him He makes us wealthier all around:)

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Floyd :)

  2. It can be hard to tithe when finances are hard but you have solid reasons why one should do it anyway. It is a discipline. It also builds trust and character.
    I’ve found in my own life God isn’t interested in simply changing circumstances around me…He’s interested in changing ME. He’s concerned with ME, not my wallet. Ironic how the two seem to be tied together. Giving from our wallets, even when it hurts builds in more ways than a simple comment can handle.
    Great post.

    • I know it is tithe for a long time and see NO visible change in my circumstances. It wasn’t till I realized the change He wanted was in me.

      You’re right. He’s concerned with my heart and my wallet. He wants ALL of me :)

  3. Hi Mike, What an incredible blog ministry the Lord has entrusted to you. I enjoyed reading your About Me page. Per your question: Should we continue giving during tough times? Absolutely yes! In 2 Corinthians 8:1-3 they gave according to their ability, then surpassed that. I believe the tithe is the starting place, or “ability”, and once we’ve formed that discipline, then Father will lead us on to “beyond our ability.” Baby steps then maturity.

  4. Hi Betty,

    Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. I hope to see you as a regular and I would love any comments or feedback you have.

    You’re right. Tithing really is baby stuff. Considering how much Christ gave it pales in comparison. Yet it is the floor we must all start from. ;)

  5. “And NO ONE can be an effective disciple without discipline.”

    Amen, and AMEN – can we get the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing that one? :)

    Good stuff, as always, Mike! :D

  6. God calls us to give/tithe during every season of life and in every situation. I think God blesses those who give when it’s harder. Great post!

  7. Yes He does and yes he does. He is always willing to bless those who sacrifice for Him. He is a good God that way.

  8. Great post Mike…Yes we should continue to give even in hard times. it’s hard hard to do..but like you’ve said it’s a discipline. One of the biggest lessons am learning lately on giving lately is that God really doesn’t expect me to give from what I don’t have. Sometimes am caught up in ‘big’ giving that when i have little, it’s a struggle to give ‘little’. of course that’s all wrapped in pride and am learning! thanks for this challenge!

    • Great comments Ngina!

      God is not a taskmaster. He’s not going to whip you over the back if you give little or much. Giving is a learning process and I’m glad you’re up for the challenge:)

  9. I think we should continue giving during tough times. However, I think that giving doesn’t always have to be money. We could also give material things, give of our time etc. We once had a lady in our church whose husband did not allow her to tithe. She found a way around it. Every time she went to the grocery story she would buy a bunch of groceries for the pastor’s family. Her husband never said that she couldn’t give food to someone!


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