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.
SOUL SAVVY SKINNY ON TITHING
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.
TITHING ISN’T THE ONLY PRACTICE
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,