Jesus Saves? The Bible Budget

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Bible readers may have less debt than people who don’t read the Bible, according to a recent survey.

The number of unpaid credit card bills, mortgage payments and car payments was lower among Bible readers than non-readers, according to the View from the Pew research study published in Christianity Today.

One underlying theory that might explain why Bible readers have less debt may be that regularly reading the bible, going to church and praying requires discipline, and disciplined people are less likely to overspend, suggests USA Today.

The study also looked at another major intersection of faith and finance – tithing. Only 5% of adults donate more than 10% of their incomes as tithing, part of what many see as being a “good Christian.”

Christians donate an average of $863 a year to churches, religious groups and other charities, according to EmptyTomb.org, a Christian service and research organization. And even though incomes have remained flat or decreased for 77% of the 1,000 households surveyed, 8% of them actually gave more than 20% of their incomes, the View from the Pew study found.

Given the current state of the economy, observant Christians are often faced with tough choices about giving. What happens when your income has been slashed dramatically, and you are struggling to make the mortgage payment? Would tithing would be considered imprudent in this situation? According to one Christian finance site, even good Christians aren’t required to tithe when they are in the midst of their own financial crisis.

“When it comes to giving while in debt, one issue to consider is whether the person asking the question is in such dire straits that they literally cannot provide for their family while giving at the level of a tithe … In those cases, they should be on the receiving end of other people’s generosity until they get back on their feet,” according to ChristianPF.com, a Christian personal finance site.

 

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