For those of you not familiar with the concept of tithing, it is a spiritual principle that many believers practice. It is giving at the level of 10% of your income (tithe comes from the word ten) to your church or other channel of spiritual food. In other words, where are you fed spiritually? Is it a church or spiritual center? Have you been inspired through a book or CD? Where does God/Spirit speak to you? That person or place would be where you give.
Giving and generosity are part of all faith traditions. It is as natural as breathing in and breathing out. In fact, that is a good analogy. In order to receive a fresh breath of air, you must be willing to breathe out the last breath you took. You cannot receive more without letting go of what you already have. You keep the flow going...in and out...receiving and giving, giving and receiving. When we clutch and constrict, we restrict the flow.
Giving is also an acknowledgement of your gratitude for what you have received. And when we give from an attitude of gratitude, our hearts are open and receptive to receiving even greater blessings. The Native Americans always presented seeds and other offerings to Spirit as a recognition that their good came from this Source. They gave the first fruits of their labor.
We are told in the Bible that if we give, that God will provide--that God will open up the windows of heaven. To me, God is not a person sitting on a cloud, waiting to hand over the goodies if we give to our church. God, to me, is the principle of goodness itself. Christ Conscciousness is our awareness of God operating in our lives as good health, wholeness, love, oneness with all, prosperity, and so much more. It is our openness to receive what this Creative Spirit has already provided. Jesus was our role model in living by this principle.
Now, what about these challenging times that we seem to be experiencing right now? you might ask. Are we expected to give as generously during these times? Well, let me just share my own experience and belief, because I can't tell you what to do with your money.
My husband was laid off from his job in public relations in October. It was a shock to us and it meant our income would be cut by more than one-half. We talked about it and knew that regardless of appearances, we needed to continue to tithe. So we tithed on my salary. I won't say that it wasn't a bit scary--and I heard the voice of my practical father in my head telling me that I must be crazy. But I knew the power of the practice of this principle and it's ability to transform consciousness.
Since October, we have been able to pay all our bills and meet our responsibilities. It doesn't make sense logically, but it does spiritually. Faith is the power that opens our hearts and minds and knows that we are provided for with the rich resources of Spirit. Those resources can come to us through many different channels, whether it's unemployment compensation, family, the lottery (be careful about that one), or a job. By keeping our minds open, we become aware of opportunities that we may not otherwise have noticed. And as the good flows in, we bless it and send some of it back out again.
Keep the flow going in your life and begin to stop clenching and holding tight to what you have and let some of it go. Bless it and hold in mind that you are in the flow of the Universe and that good is coming to you as surely as you breathe out and breathe in.
And so it is.