How can you practise the other kind of giving constructively, so as to avoid giving destructively? The ancients believed that the number ‘ten’ was the magic number of increase, and they invoked this magic number by regularly giving one-tenth of all channels of income to their religious leaders. Later, the Hebrews were commanded by Jehovah to give a tithe (or one-tenth) of all channels of income to their priests and temples. This included giving a tenth of their gold, silver, jewels, land, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and other flocks; a tenth of all fruit, wine, grain, oil and other crops; a tenth of all financial income and all financial assets.
Ten is still the magic number of increase! Regular, consistent tithing of a tenth of all channels of your gross income (before taxes and other deductions) to the religious leader or spiritual organization which inspires and uplifts you, is still one of the surest ways to permanent, satisfying prosperity.
My experience with this prosperity law
Although I had often heard tithing mentioned in church for many years, I had not realized it was a prosperity law for my personal benefit. I assumed it was the church minister’s way of trying to raise money to support the church.
As a $25 a week secretary, desperately struggling to find any prosperity law that would work, I read L.E.Meyer’s fascinating booklet, ‘As You Tithe So You Prosper’. This booklet contains many thrilling stories of people in every walk of life who have prospered through consistent tithing, and I began to think seriously about the subject. I also remembered that my own parents had been much more prosperous after they began to tithe.
One of the stories in Dr.Meyer’s booklet that especially interested me was this one:
‘He who said that he found it necessary to tithe in order to get out of debt voiced a truth that has become evident to thousands. A man who was $10,000 in debt, with his credit gone and a wife and four children for whom to provide, took a job as a day laborer in a mill and with his family was compelled to live in a tent. He met two Divinity students who convinced him that if he wanted to again prosper, he should tithe. The same week that he began tithing the company offered him one of its houses in which to live. Within a year, he was promoted to foreman. Ten years later, he was free from debt, the owner of a large lumber company, owner of his own home, which was large and beautifully furnished, and owner of a large car, an airplane and other things on a similar scale. He attributes his success to first recognizing his debt to God and faithfully tithing of his income.’
At the time I was considering the tithing law of prosperity, I was also debating whether I should start a savings account. From a business standpoint, I felt that it was more important to begin saving than to begin tithing. “Tithing can come anytime,” I thought. Instead, the savings account was opened. Everything went along fine for a time as I proudly watched my savings account grow, week by week.
Then one day my son became violently ill. Only after he had had the finest doctors and medical care in a local hospital did the turning point come and he recover. His hospital bill was more than the amount I had painstakingly managed to place in my savings account!
Valuable lesson came from that experience. I learnt that if I did not put God first financially and give to His work voluntarily, I would have to give anyway – involuntarily to pay for the unhappy experiences in life, which I did not want.
I immediately began to tithe from my gross weekly income of $25, giving $2.50 to the spiritual organization of my choice. Upon receiving my paycheck and depositing it, the first check I always wrote was the tithe check. This act gave me a feeling of protection and security. By putting God first financially, I assumed my own needs would be met; and always they have been, sometimes in the most amazing ways.
The week I began to tithe was truly the turning point for me financially! Soon I began receiving pay raises, so that my income doubled and later tripled its original amount. It has continued to steadily rise over the years as I have continued to tithe faithfully. My husband and I tithe two-tenths or 20% of our gross incomes, and we look forward to bigger giving as our prosperity consciousness continues to expand.
The wonderful thing about my son’s health has been that, although more than 15 years have passed since he was so ill, he has never had another major health problem. He has not been in a hospital since that time, and did not have the usual childhood diseases.
I, too, have been much healthier since I began tithing. Having had an underweight, nervous, anaemic childhood, it was great blessing to finally be freed of ill health. I have found that I am able to produce much more work in a much shorter length of time than previously. Whenever I hear of loss, theft, accident, illness and high emotional and financial costs that usually accompany these experiences, I cannot help thinking: ‘It’s too bad those persons do not tithe. They would be protected from such negative and unhappy experiences if they did!’
By giving voluntarily a tenth of my gross income to spiritual work, I have been saved from being forced to give many times that amount to the negative experiences of life such as illness, accidents, thefts, etc. I am grateful that I learned this lesson early. It is one of the most valuable success secrets that I can point out to you.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with the prosperity practice of consistent savings, which I had in mind during that experience many years ago. The Babylonians’ great success secret for their riches was that they tithed one-tenth and saved one-tenth of their income. It is still a fine prosperity practice. The Rockefeller family has often mentioned their use of this idea. However, if you have a choice between tithing and saving, be sure to put first thing first, by beginning to tithe first. That act will insure your growing prosperity, so that consistent savings will then naturally follow. The practice of tithing, both ancient and modern, proves it to be the best financial investment you can make.
Those people who find excuses for not tithing, or who tithe for a time and then stop, are robbing themselves as well as robbing God. They are inviting problems and losses for themselves where there need be none.
Where you give is important
A merchant once questioned tithing as a prosperity law because he had long been tithing, but his business was no longer prosperous. He was asked, ‘Where do you tithe?’ This man replied: ‘I tithe to my wife’s church. I no longer attend that church because I find greater inspiration in another church, which I now attend. However, my wife insists that I still tithe to her church.’
It was pointed out that one should tithe where one is receiving spiritual help and inspiration. To tithe to an organization which does not directly help or inspire you holds little blessing either for you or for the organization, because no spiritual contact has been made between the giver and the receiver.
It was suggested that this man tithe to the church from which he was receiving guidance and inspiration; that he do this on a six months’ trial basis. As he did, he discovered that many things began clearing up in his financial affairs, as well as in other phases of his life. Furthermore, his wife seemed to respect him in his tithing decision.
You may be thinking, ‘Yes, but I am already tithing to the church where I receive inspiration and still I am not prosperous.’ Then check your attitudes to determine why you are tithing and whether you completely release your tithe after giving it. Make no mental demands upon those who receive your tithe. A gift with reservations is not a gift. It is really a bribe.
There is another subtle attitude to check when tithing: Do you tithe simply because you think it is expected of you, but not freely and joyously? The tithe should be considered a rich financial investment for all involved.
By tithing in the right attitude, you substitute faith in God’s power to supply your needs for the old fear that you must hold tight to every penny or live in lack.
Charity giving is not tithing
Many people have the mistaken idea that giving to a needy person is tithing, but it is not. Giving to the needy is often the worst thing you can do for them, since it keeps them from developing their own prosperity consciousness. Until they do develop a prosperous state of mind, they will continue to be in need, no matter how much you do for them. The greatest thing you can offer the poor is to introduce them to prosperous thinking.
Your tithe is not properly used for yourself, relatives, friends, or charitable purposes. If one wishes to give to those channels, it should be a gift over and above the tenth which one gives directly to spiritual work. The prosperity law of tithing as practised by all the ancient civilizations, was that the tithe went always to the religious leaders and temples, to those in the Lord’s work.
Some people give only to civic, cultural, educational, or charity causes instead of to religious organizations. It is fine to give for these purposes if you feel so led, but your first tenth should go to religious causes which uplift and inspire you, or to people in religious work who are an inspiration to you. All other giving is to be commended, but is secondary to direct tithing to the Lord’s work.
Rich results of consistent giving
People sometimes say, ‘I do not tithe regularly but I give large amounts occasionally to god’s work.’ It does more good to tithe regularly smaller amounts than giving large amounts spasmodically. Just as it is necessary to breathe out regularly in order to receive fresh air into the lungs, so it is necessary to give regularly if you wish to receive regularly.
A millionaire consciousness
The general rule in tithing in these modern times is this: You tithe on the gross amount of your personal income; and usually you tithe on the net profits from a business or corporation. Of course, you can always go on to gross tithing from your business or corporation, if you wish. In many instances, the tax laws may make it worthwhile to do so.
Remember this exciting truth as you tithe: You are joining ranks with millionaires of all times. You are becoming attuned to that same rich consciousness which can lead to rich results!
It has been said that the person who begins tithing will have at least six surprises: He will be surprised at the amount of money he has to give for the Lord’s work. He will be surprised at the deepening of his own prosperity consciousness as well as his spiritual life. He will be surprised at the ease with which he can meet his financial obligations.
He will be surprised at how easily he can go from one tenth to larger giving. He will be surprised at the wisdom and good judgment this gives him in using the remaining nine-tenths of his income. He will be surprised at himself for not adopting the tithing plan sooner!
I would like to add one thing the tither should not be surprised about: He may find himself a millionaire.
Published with the kind permission of www.hinduism.co.za.
Their ‘Understanding Hinduism’ website is an award winning site featuring a whole host of various articles promoting Hinduism. It truly is a wonderful, thoughtful and thought provoking work and a true beacon for the promotion of Hinduism and Vedic culture in the world today.
Please visit their enlightening website at www.hinduism.co.za.
Copyright reserved by the author.