Excerpts from Bread of Life (The Principle of Tithing)
Mystic nourishment is obtained from every word, from every feeling and every act that adds to our joy of living, that heals our bodies and frees us from fear. Men may learn of the joy of living and be mystically nourished through tithing. I believe in tithing. I believe in it not primarily because it is supported in the Bible but because I have proved its worth in a way just as simple as the one in which I prove the value of food for my body. I buy food from my grocer, use it, and thereby prove whether or not it is of value by the nourishment I receive from its use.
I am assuming that tithing is the answer to our spiritually starved world. I cannot prove this assumption for others, nor can I prove similar principles of living. They can be proved in one way only: by acting as though they were true and by their influence on our daily lives.
Essentially, we do not purchase food for our bodies in order to prosper. We do so in order to be strong and well. We do not tithe that we may prosper but to nourish our consciousness, that we may daily become more aware of the Presence of God, that we may the better know the great truth on which all true prosperity is based: God Is Adequate To Provide All That We Need, Whether Much or Little. This knowing, this awareness, is true prosperity.
I submit that if everyone should turn to tithing, giving to the church or group or person from which he has received his greatest good, the world would be completely changed in one generation. All would have a sense of security that can be gained in no other way.
If we wish to tithe, we may ask ourselves one simple question: Is God adequate – has He the ability to provide for me?
In the Bible we discover that when men tithed, they prospered. When they did not tithe, they were in need. In Malachi the effects of not tithing are revealed, not as a threat but as a result that gives a picture of spiritual starvation. There is perhaps no greater tribute to the good in tithing than in these lines from Malachi: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
That men tithed and prospered does not mean that there is magic in tithing, nor that God was favoring them for tithing. That men lacked when they did not tithe does not mean that God was punishing them. The farmer who starves his soil does not expect a good crop. Why do we starve if we do not eat food? No one is punishing us. No one is cursing us. We starve because we haven’t taken the proper nourishment for our bodies.
To speak for tithing then, is not a threat, a bargain, nor even a promise. We do not tithe merely because the principle is upheld in the Bible. Tithing is not necessarily to be practiced because Moses taught it, or because anyone teaches it. Tithing speaks for itself, is its own reason for being, and proves itself. But most people are afraid to try it, to give lovingly and joyously, with no fear of losing something. It is the feeling that in giving we lose that keeps most people from tithing.
We are under no obligation to tithe. We may starve, if we wish. But if we would really live, not just exist, giving is as necessary to our living as the food we eat. Through giving we establish our inner security. We may prove, in joyous giving, that we are above the primitive prejudice that makes us feel we lose when we give. And we may prove that God can provide all that we need. The mere fact of giving, of tithing, in the right spirit, will set this process in motion.
Tithing is not to prove God’s ownership, nor to please God, but that we may be fed. It is social security!
Tithing is not based on the fear of an angry God but on the perception that we are spiritual beings and as such We Must Have Spiritual Nourishment.
God’s work is not a charity. We say, “The truth is free.” Yes, the truth is free. We are not paying for a portion of truth when we tithe. We are paying for our own spiritual nourishment, for social security, for the more abundant life.
Tithers prosper not because tithing is magic but because they wisely provide for spiritual food. They are fed spiritually and are thus better able to care for their physical needs.
Tithing is a sound investment. It is sowing the seeds of abundance. Any good harvest is greater than the seed sown. The same quality but more in quantity. Life is Growth. Sow in abundance and love and reap in abundance and love. Sow sparingly and reap sparingly.
To put our money away for the future without first tithing is like putting food on the shelf while we starve. To save is good but not until we have been nourished, spiritually and physically.
When we tithe, we learn to trust God’s ability to care for us. We learn that God is not a God of the few. His riches can never be exhausted. He has an answer for every prayer. He has abundance for all!
As the body is nourished by food, so the mind is nourished by hearing and understanding the Truth. As we give our devoted attention to the Truth, it manifests in our lives in all its sheer beauty and loveliness. We learn to accept our good, and to enter the way of increase. The way of tithing is the way of increase. This is not “mere theory,” or an idealistic proposition. It is simple a statement of fact. The harvest is always greater than the seed sown.
What may we expect from tithing? What will it do for us? What do we expect from paying the grocer? From the grocer we expect bread to nourish our bodies. From our tithe we may expect spiritual groceries to nourish our consciousness. We may expect a closer relationship with God. Our riches will be inexhaustible. Ours will be the part to help others and to bless and redeem the world. What may we expect? All that we can think or dream of – and more – and more . . .
Tithing is not in itself a prosperity principle. The Prosperity Principle is that God Is All There Is. Therefore, God is adequate. It is consistent to say that a principle will support itself.
Tithing is not a remedy for lack. It is a way of becoming conscious of abundance. Not to tithe is to deny God’s ability to provide us with all that is necessary. When we tithe we no longer beg God for an occasional blessing. We have given; therefore, it necessarily follows that we must receive! It is as simple and accurate as a mathematical equation.
Tithing is not just giving at random. It is giving a tenth. This tenth may be a dollar or a thousand. The difference is in quantity not quality. The greater our awareness of the infinite quantity of God’s abundance, the larger our tithe will be.
To whom we give our tithe is an individual matter. From whom do we receive words of love and encouragement which add to living? From whom do we receive our greatest spiritual enlightenment? From whom do we receive our mystic nourishment?
We cannot properly divide our tithe because we cannot receive our highest good from more than one source at one time. It is to be given to the source from which we receive spiritual nourishment to the highest degree, whether an individual or a group, a church or organization. In short, God’s work is really the recipient. What we give must be given freely. We have no more right to say how the money should be used than we have a right to tell our grocer how he should spend his money.
No church or dedicated group should need to beg for money, or even ask for money. The ministry is not a job, a business or even a profession. It is the service of dedication, giving spiritual help to the world. It would doubtless bring joy to the heart of all ministers if they were released from all financial problems pertaining to the church, if the parishioners would joyously walk up and place their tithes on the altar.
Does this way of giving, this way of tithing, mean that we confine our giving to one place? No, indeed. We still have nine-tenths of our income which we may spend as we desire. As we learn to trust God, we will have undreamed on riches to share.
The history of tithing spells success THE TITHER GIVES HELP. HE NEVER NEEDS TO ASK FOR IT. A teacher in New York City has said that during many years of ministry, most of which were considered years of depression, she had never once known a tither to ask for help. Among the thousands who sought financial aid, not one was a tither.
How will tithing affect me? That will depend on me! If the tithe is given in love and loyalty, with a desire to share and spread the Truth, then love and abundance will increase for me. Life will be a glorious adventure.
If all should decide to tithe, undreamed of prosperity would become manifest. Why? When bodies are fed and cared for, we have healthy people. When our consciousness is fed and cared for, we will have a spiritually healthy people who will find their true place and their true work, and be abundantly blessed and cared for.
If we will sow our seed in the garden of God, water it with our devotion, give to it the sunshine of joyous confidence, then our pathway will be studded with shining jewels of gladness: we will tread it lightly, airily, carefreely. We will be fed not by bread alone but by mystic nourishment, which Paul had described so beautifully: “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered in the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” Who are they that love Him? Who more than they who of their supply return to Him a tenth – their tithes?
Does tithing still have spiritual power? I will let you discern.
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God Bless You,