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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tithing - Fact Or Fiction?

By Kathleen Gage

If you subscribe to virtually any religious or spiritual belief you've likely heard about tithing. Whether or not you are actually tithing is another thing.

Tithing can be a very emotionally charged activity. It has been said that what you put out your receive back tenfold. Is this true or is it simply a way for a church or spiritual group to strong arm followers to give up their money? Some people believe wholeheartedly in the spiritual practice of tithing while others view it as manipulation. What do I believe? Read on to find out.

Views on tithing

There are many different views of what tithing is and is not. Some believe true tithing only happens when you give to a church or somewhere you are spiritually fed. Others feel that any act of freely giving money to a person or institution is a form of tithing.

Regardless of what one's belief about where the money goes, the energy in which the money is given impacts the gift and the giver.

Gratitude or Resentment

As a child, I can still remember as if it was yesterday, the brass plates passed from row to row to gather money by church ushers. Even at a young age I could see and feel there were some people who willingly gave and did so with gratitude and others who resistantly gave up their hard earned money.

Since that time, I have witnessed this same thing in various churches and other gatherings I have attended where a bowl, plate or basket is passed around for money. There are those who willingly give and those who have extreme difficulty parting with their money.

I must admit, I have been both resistant and willing. Both carry an emotional charge. When I was in resistance the emotional charge was that of fear, lack and there just wasn't enough to go around.
It was only when I got to a place of trusting that that which I gave would bless another and somehow, someway come back to me multiplied that the feeling went from one of fear to one of gratitude.

No expectations

An essential element of tithing is to hold no expectation on the money when it leaves our possession. Further, to have no expectation of us benefiting in any way other than through the blessing of blessing others.

It is when there is no expectations placed on tithing that the greatest blessings come. How do I know this to be true? From my own experience and the experience of others who willingly tithe.
Years ago, I was experiencing very lean times. It was a real struggle to pay the bills let alone give any of my money away. A friend invited me to her nondenominational church. It was actually classified more as a spiritual center than a traditional church.

On that day I was obviously open to receiving a message about the blessings of tithing. The minister spoke of money as energy and how charged that energy is for many people. She also said that if we trusted that God (Higher Power, Universe, All that Is) is our source, we would not fear letting go of the money.
She also pointed out that once we release the money, we need to totally release it. What this means is, don't even think about what else you could have done with the money. Let it go. Get into a feeling of gratitude for having the ability to bless another.

When I heard her say this, something connected for me. Trust. Trust. Trust.

Increase your giving

At that time giving a dollar was a big deal to me. On that particular occasion I decided to trust what she was saying. I gave $20 and did my best to let it go.

The most amazing thing happened. Within a few short days I was experiencing more abundance than I had in quite some time. Blessings were coming from a variety of places; places that I never would have thought I would receive them from.

Since that time, I have been keenly aware of the power of tithing. However, there were several occasions I would forget the $20 experience. Whenever I did, I seemed to be moving in a place of fear with thoughts of lack.

History repeats itself

In the early days of my business I again found myself in a place of struggle and fear. Again, I attended a service where the minister talked about the gift of tithing.
At that time I had $40 in my checking account and money was very tight. After hearing Reverend Christopher preach about tithing, I again chose to move in a space of trust. I took $20 of the $40 dollars and tithed.

The most amazing thing happened. The very next day I received a letter in the mail. When I opened it a $10 bill literally floated out of the envelope. The day after that I received a check from a utility company for an overpayment I had made on a utility service nearly a year before. Within days, my account went from $40 to over $500.

Does tithing work to bring blessings? I believe it does. I also believe to my very core that how and why we tithe is important to recognize. Do we do it because we feel moved to do it or because we think it is expected of us?

What are your beliefs and experiences with tithing? Do you feel joy when you tithe or do you have feelings of lack and fear surface?

It is in the level of trust we have the blessings are created and we are in more of a position to recognize those blessings.

Be blessed.

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