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Debt Repayment Or Giving? With Ron Blue

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | May 1, 2024


Show Notes

Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” 

God isn’t just telling us to test Him with our giving—He’s challenging us to test Him. “Do it and see what I will do.” 

Why do you think many Christians are reluctant to do this?

Many Christians are reluctant to test God with their finances because of greed. Greed is when we envy what others have or want something we don't have. This greed leads to a fear of lack and insufficient money if they prioritize giving over other expenses. Giving should come first to recognize God's ownership and break the power of money over our lives. 

God doesn’t promise to make us wealthy because we give generously. 

When you give, you need to give up ownership of the money and what happens to it after that is up to God. God does not promise that he will return the money multifold. People sometimes mistakenly attach that expectation to giving, but God does not explicitly promise wealth or return on investment in the act of giving.

If I’m In Debt, Should I Decrease My Giving?

The answer to that begins with a principle or a truth. The truth is this: God owns it all and is interested in it. 

If I believe that God owns it all, and it says that in many places in Scripture, God owns it all, it's all his. The earth and everything in it are the Lord's. He created it. If he owns it, and I'm a steward or a manager, I make a biblical decision every time I spend money. I'm making a stewardship decision, a scriptural decision. 

So if I'm paying off debt, I'm using God's money to pay off debt. If I tithe, I'm using God's money to tithe. He gave it to me. So we can begin by saying that from a scriptural standpoint, there's no difference in using God's money, whether I pay off debt or give because it all belongs to him. 

When you make giving your highest priority, you begin to set the right priorities for your money.

Suppose you're in a crisis where you can't give and pay off debt, get some counsel. Get some accountability. If you reduce your giving to pay off debt, it needs to be under a plan and with accountability. 

The best accountability is to go to your pastor and say, “This is what I'm thinking of doing. Will you hold me accountable to it?” Do you agree with this decision so that you will eventually get out of debt? If you're using your giving dollars to get out of debt because you're in a crisis, do it with accountability and a plan—don't just do it.

On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:

  • Can the RMD amount from an inherited IRA be taken from any of the account's assets, including stocks? What are the tax implications of taking more than the RMD amount from an inherited IRA?
  • What are the tax implications of inheriting annuities and Roth IRAs from your parents? My parents had annuities as investments that were closed out and put into a trust after they passed away. I’m unsure how the taxes work in this situation, and I was told my children may have to pay some taxes.
  • Should I pay my home mortgage or use my savings to buy a new vehicle? I may need to sell my home and move in with an aging parent in a year or two.
  • Would it be okay to leave my deferred compensation of around $15,000 in the account and use it as a burial plan for my husband and me when needed? I don’t need the money currently to live on. Also, should I keep the money invested in stocks, or is there a better option given that I’m 65?

Resources Mentioned:

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.

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