A while back I reviewed a book on tape by Edwene Gaines, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance. The four laws are Tithing, Goal-Setting, Forgiveness, and Divine Purpose. Just recently, I was gifted the actual book versus the CD from the library. Well, I’m not sure if it’s the difference between the audio and written word, or if I’ve changed – but guess what? I need to revise my position on tithing.

Last time round, I heard Edwene Gaines'(EG) words and insistence of the essential place of tithing in prosperity work. As you likely know, my overall approach to prosperity is we all need to find our own path, and make any teaching uniquely ours. Yet, I want to also understand why tons of traditions can’t all be wrong, lol. The author credits her sources as the Bible, and then some of the Science of Mind / Unity authors John Randolph Price, and Charles Fillmore – at least these three are named. But rereading, or actually, reading her full story for the first time, I started to see a familiar pattern. Both of us tried to wiggle around tithing initially. And perhaps you were relieved when my previous instructions let you off the hook, eh?

Aside here – this is why it’s great to discuss things on the blog – I know there is lots of wisdom in you to share with this community. EG says tithing generates more questions than any other prosperity principle. It’s easy to see why anyone working on money issues, especially before the ‘ease factor’ kicks in, may gasp at the idea of tithing. EG’s FAQ section is great – and I love her relevant caveat, “Please understand that these are the questions I present today, and that I give myself permission to change and grow.” Amen Edwene.

I’ll refer you to EG’s book for more detail, but here is the short skinny, er – the revised soul savvy skinny that is – on tithing. Edwene suggests you do a six month experiment with God on it, and really give yourself to it. Now this woman’s faith was lioness-sized, I’m just sayin’. Still, somehow the concept of tithing seems more user-friendly to me today – see what you think.


What’s the deal?
Tithing actually means “a tenth”, and the instructions here are explicit that the full 10% is needed. EG: “To tithe is to return 10 percent of all we receive to a person, place, or institution from which we have received spiritual food.” This includes all money received in the various forms. What are spiritual yummies? Whatever “inspires us, teaches us, reminds us of the Truth, and causes us to remember who we really are.” Edwene says you know you are “being spiritually fed when you feel your heart sing.”

Why do it?
Yes, tithing can help build churches and support non-profits, but more importantly, it acknowledges the importance of spirit in our lives, and that this energy comes first. Pay God first, and give thanks for this source of everything in our lives. Charitable giving isn’t true tithing according to EG, but sure, give there too, after you’ve got the 10% covered. Same with supporting Mom or Great Aunt Winifred – not tithing, but yes, all giving is good.

The passage in the Bible dares us to go ahead and let God prove that the “windows of heaven open for us” if we tithe. Yes, interpretation is everything, but kind of fun when God (okay, via Bible) dares you to experiment. (The passage noted is Malachi 3:10.)

EG also suggests that tithing is an excellent way to practice giving and receiving. “It increases our faith and pushes us through conscious fear”. You know how important that is to prosperity consciousness, right? It’s that edge, that money ceiling looming large, that of course will first want to push all our buttons before we pass go. Here is a chance to consciously play with that edge. Prosperity activism in action.

When should you tithe?
As soon as you receive payment, and make that tithe, according to the author, the more prosperity flow you create. If you’ve got it on hold or pending or earmarked but undelivered, so is the universe’s delivery of your abundance or those “windows of heaven”. Yeah, more of that, please.

How do you do this?
One thing you’ll need to do is track your income, and note what the 10% is. You might just funnel that over to your savings account if you do your banking through your computer. You can even create a tithe account.

Then, you might think about who your beneficiaries are. Perhaps you want to brainstorm a list. I can think of one friend I’ve known for thirty years now, who shared important spiritual knowledge with me in my twenties that changed my life. Won’t he be surprised (extremely!) to get a check in the mail from me.

Something less clear to me is how to tithe to my meditation group, which is leaderless and not affiliated with any particular spiritual framework. This is where I might advocate a bit more creativity. I’m thinking of hosting a brunch, for example. But this is less in line with what EG suggests – since regardless of whether or not your recipient “needs” the cash is irrelevant. You just give money. And you don’t get a say in how it gets spent, so my little brunch does leave less choice. So perhaps I just need to hand out some cash after group next week, lol.

How to do this when money’s tight?
EG says don’t let fear have the upper hand. “Tithe first, and trust God to assist you in paying the bills.” In her own story, she would write out the check and stamp the envelope, and note to God, she was ready. Didn’t have any idea where the money would come from yet, but the bill was all set to go. EG notes you want to tithe, and be responsible with money at the same time. Yeah, this part is the art form, and may look different for each of you, and it will evolve. EG started this practice pretty terrified, in the beginning. But by the end of six months, her income had tripled.


As noted, there are three other major laws in this prosperity gravitational field that EG describes – tithing wasn’t the only variable in Edwene’s successful experiment. What’s cool about tithing, though, is the opportunity to acknowledge the spiritual source of life, and to honor that reality in a very tangible, personal way. For many of you, this is the big reason you’re here. Tithing is a simple way to honor source, to put our money where our true food and nourishment originates. As the author notes, if things aren’t going so well anyway, what have you got to lose by this experiment? See what happens when you “put God first in your finances.”

Let’s talk tithing in the comments below – have you tried this practice? What works for you? Is it perhaps time for a new experiment? What do you suggest for my meditation group?

Yours in the latest revisions,

Denise Barnes


  • September 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks, Denise, for the reminder! I remember years ago (when I wasn’t the breadwinner of the family) freely giving every month (not truly tithing by this definition) but it seemed we never had money worries at that time. Somehow what we needed was always there.

    Think I’m going to give your experiment a try again – if nothing else it makes my heart feel more open :-).

    I appreciate your savvy wisdom!

  • September 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Love this instructive post, Denise. I began tithing recently and found that it was only hard in theory. Once I decided, “yay, I get to give this money away,” I have felt like an instrument of God. The incredible gratitude that has come my way is overwhelming. I’m also more in touch with intuition as I seem to know the difference between “I would like to give to that charity” and “that was a source of spiritual food.”

    I have a similar group, so I’m not sure how to tithe to it: give to the leader, give to the person who comes to mind as making the biggest impact on me or … meditate on it and see what comes up? 🙂

    BTW what I have tithed has returned to me financially as well, probably 25 times already. The Universe is big on flow!

  • September 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    @ Jeanette – Glad you are open to revision 🙂 We’ll be experimenting together.

    @ Samantha – good news from the frontier, good to hear. 25 times more is amazing – I thought Edwene had good results!

    I think I will sit with the meditation group question some more. And as I wrote that, I got an idea. Thank you both.

  • September 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

    While I have always donated to causes that are important to me, I’ve never formalized it in the form of a tithe. I think it’s such an inspiring approach to getting the energy flowing, though.

  • September 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I have to admit that this practice has gone a bit by the wayside lately. I’ve always felt that contributing either through volunteering or financially is important and I do but it’s been the former more than the latter these days. Something to definitely ponder.
    As far as your meditation group. Why not tithe to the group. Set up an account that anyone who wants to tithe can contribute to – the as a group you can decide how to use it either for the group or perhaps pass it on to a local non-profit.

  • September 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Ellen. Yes, I hear you on juggling the financial side. My former article on tithing was more creative like this, but this author definitely is a stickler for the 10% dealy. It’s not the only practice, but it’s the one she starts her book with. I’m going to give it a try. And thanks for the meditation group suggestion. That’s a cool idea.

  • September 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm


    I understand that tithing is a good spiritual practice that helps with prosperity. I have heard that you get back 10x what you put in (although it may come back in a different form). The last few years my practice has not gone well, and so I resticted my giving to those organizatons that would give me a tax write off. However, I do donate in lots of other ways, usually my time or expertise. Based on the amount I do in these areas I guess I am doing tithing of a sort, not just $.


  • September 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    OK so I have to report already. I just completed tithing today. Thinking about it a couple days, and by today I had to just get those checks out. It was great! One hand-delivered, and really fun. This is connecting with some $ and mindset work that is all culminating in a huge shift internally. Wow! Let’s keep in touch what happens. I’m excited and have only just begun…

  • September 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hey David –

    Makes a lot of sense. This is exactly where I was when I wrote the last time on tithing btw. Even though the author was insistent it HAD to be $ and HAD to be 10% etc. etc., I told everyone, Hey man, we get to design our own prosperity practices. Do what works for you. I basically would count my niece’s birthday gift or charitable giving as tithing. Now my view has changed, and it was influenced partly by reading this book again (the author was so broke she could barely feed herself and daughter when she started tithing – and she had a LOT of resistance to this practice). I see the way I say, I can’t tithe right now, was also a way I limited myself. Anywho – I’ll keep you posted on how the experiment goes ; ) Thanks for your truth-ful comment.

  • February 2, 2013 at 12:01 am

    This is fabulous discussion, really.

    I’m exploring money from an energetic standpoint and how I feel about what I have, when I spend, and what balance I have leftover. It’s all shockingly bad and my finances reflect that. i like the teachings of Abraham and I’m starting to see how changing my view on money as a gift, an enabler for more pleasure and excitement, and something wonderful in general irrespective of my bank balance is really causing shifts in me and even immediate results.

    So tithing, on an energetic level, when given with a giving heart, is an act that is typical of a wealthy person and more wealth is attracted to them in return. That’s how this Universe works. I’d love to do it because it simply feels good to do so but finances are tight and I have a shared bank account with a ‘muggle’!

    Wonderful write-up, keep them coming!

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Hi Peter

    Yes, it absolutely can be a great practice, yet challenging to engage it when $ is tight. Edwene Gaines has a no prisoners approach to that and suggests tithing regardless of tight finances is the way to go. I see some grey in there, and heard another money coach suggest you can tithe on unexpected income. That stills builds the good energy, without causing concern at first. Best wishes with your money work, and watch for the cool money webinar coming in March.

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