But really, the point of his sermon was that tithing should be a part of your budget; that being generous to others is a part of honoring God, and therefore, it should be in your budget.
While I haven't fully accepted the whole church-thing just yet, I do like to go and listen, and each week I challenge myself to really understand the message, and listen to what it can teach me. Sometimes, I have to think on it a little bit; I've been known to judge way too quickly.
Whether I agree with a church giving financial advice is really beside the point. Pastor did say something that really stuck with me. He said that living in excessive debt makes it hard for people to form a relationship with God; that basically, you can't serve two masters, and if you're drowning in debt, your lender ends up being the master you owe.
Whether or not you believe in religion or God or consider yourself a Christian, I feel like there is something for everyone in that message. When you get too attached to money - or to the things or status it buys - you lose a part of yourself. You can't manage a good relationship with yourself, with God or with anyone else if you're always chasing the next "thing."
Drowning in debt means you've made your lender your master. They're not looking out for you; they don't care about your or your family or your future. Your lender isn't your friend. So why would you forsake your relationships, or your own self respect - to serve them?
Christian or not, I think anyone could agree that doesn't make any sense.
Anyone who knows me knows I like my stuff. They also know I put up with a job simply because it allows me the chance to have the things I like and meet my obligations.
But don't confuse responsibility or enjoyment with serving the wrong master. Those are things you want, but what you need is an honest, healthy relationship with yourself, your family, or with God.
Until you understand that, you won't ever truly be rich.