Tithing: The Active Ingredient in Living a Prosperous Life
True prosperity has a spiritual basis. “God is the Source of your supply.” So states Catherine Ponder in her wonderful book The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. Just as we engage God through prayer for that which we claim to be true, and we connect with God spiritually through the practice of meditation, so too do we give the GIFT of Tithing to consistently keep in touch with the Infinite Source of our supply, God.
“Systematic giving opens the way to systematic receiving,” according to Dr. Ponder. Giving to God 10% of that which we have received to persons or places where you are receiving your spiritual nourishment allows you to enjoy true prosperity with wondrous results.
The practice of the ancient law of prosperity is as old as we are as a species. From primitive man who offered sacrifices to his gods to evolving civilizations of Egyptians, Babylonians and Arabians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese, tithing (the word “tithe” means “tenth”) was a way of life. “The ancients intuitively knew that giving, sharing and putting God first financially was the first step to permanent, enduring prosperity,” writes author Ponder. They felt that ten was the magic number of increase.
Some of the most prominent millionaires of the twentieth century attributed their extraordinary success to the practice of tithing. Catherine Ponder reports, “In 1855, as a young man, John D. Rockefeller began tithing. His total income for that year was $95.00 from which he tithed $9.50 to his church.” However, she goes on to say, “between 1855 and 1934, he gave away $531 million dollars. His standard reply to critics of his generosity was ‘God gave me my money.'”
So many of the plans for becoming wealthy and rich focus on “getting” and forget about “giving.” These schemes are not based on a spiritual foundation. When God is in the equation, wealth (meaning well-being and wholeness) is assured.
So what are we really doing when we are giving the GIFT of Tithing? We are saying, “Thank you, God” for the generous bounty that we have received. I recently read the most revealing paragraph in Joel Goldsmith’s book, Consciousness Transformed. In it he states: “A mistake has been made on the subject of tithing. Since it was discovered that those who tithe never know lack or limitation, it was believed that if you would teach this to people, they would always be prosperous,” writes the founder of the Infinite Way. “This is not true,” he continues. “Tithing is something that can only take place when individuals receive inwardly the realization of what great gifts of God they have received, and in gratitude decide to share some part of it,” Joel says. “This sharing is just with the idea of thankfulness for the realization of God’s grace, and it is for this reason that those who spontaneously come to tithe are always generously and abundantly provided for,” Mr. Goldsmith concludes. Tithing is the active ingredient of Gratitude that prospers not only the tither but the recipient of the tithe as well.
Tithing is the act of giving gratitude for the 100% we received by leaving 10% with our Source-that is, the person(s) or place(s) where we realize the Presence of God in our lives. Traditionally tithing has been associated with giving to the place of worship to which we belong. Often, “theologians have tended to stress what tithing would do for the church, instead of what it could do for the tither,” says Dr. Catherine Ponder. Yet, upon closer examination of Tithing as a spiritual practice (not a mechanical one of obligation), we can only conclude that it is the individual who will be prospered and blessed through tithing. Naturally, the recipient will be too, since it’s all God.
There are countless stories about the financial, prosperous success that comes from giving the GIFT of Tithing. “Since I have been tithing, I have more money to spend, not less,” reports one student of this class. “I put in my tithe last week and suddenly the check that I have been expecting for months came in the mail.” “Since the start of this class and my stepping into giving the GIFT of Tithing, my house sold.” The stories go on and on. I have also heard this one repeated: “I was thriving financially and in so many ways when I was in class, but I stopped Tithing after it was over and I’m back in the same ‘soup’ I was in before.”
So what can you expect when you begin to give the GIFT of Tithing?
o Fear usually shows up. I don’t have enough now. How can I possibly…?
o Memories of previous associations with the word “tithe” may surface.
o Trust will become the plank to walk when beginning this practice.
o Surprise may ensue when you notice the amount of money you have to use after giving 10% to God.
o Doubt may surface when the above is not the immediate experience or when unexpected expenses show up instead.
o You may be surprised at the wisdom and judgment you are using to manage the money you have been given.
o You will enjoy the ease with which you are able to meet your financial obligations.
o You will notice that your connection in God deepens and thus your spiritual life expands and your consciousness of wealth grows.
o You will find that you want to give more than 10% to a variety of places of spiritual nourishment.
o You’ll wonder how you ever managed to live without giving the GIFT of Tithing.