BY BERNARD DOZIER
“The prospering power of ideas is the essential truth behind the principle of tithing”
WE HAVE THE opportunity of aligning our consciousness with a principle that has been enriching the lives of men and women, expanding businesses, and prospering nations for thousands of years. If some individuals who have tried this principle in the past have not experienced much enrichment, this is because the principle is spiritual and works best when applied for the purpose of receiving the total benefits of Spirit, rather than for selfish gain of a material nature.
The principle is called tithing. Let me explain why it is a sure way to wealth. One of the first things we need to do in order to apply this principle correctly is to “scrub up” our notions about tithing. We may be holding onto a number of erroneous impressions. It is believed by some that tithing is an Old Testament practice that is now outmoded. It is true that tithing is mentioned in the Old Testament. The practice began with Abraham, father of the Hebrew nation, who met Melchizedek on his way back from a victorious battle and gave this mysterious priest a tenth portion of all his possessions. The Hebrews, revering, Abraham, emulated his practice of giving a tenth of their wealth to the spiritual agency of the people—the priesthood. After many generations, however, the spiritual principle became somewhat clouded and instead of a tithe being a freely given gift, it became a tax which was arbitrarily levied on every Hebrew.
Today when the subject of tithing is mentioned, many people react to it as if it were an unpleasant obligation. Whenever it is seen in this light, it is resisted and resented, even evaded if possible.
Another misconception that is allowed to creep into our thoughts of tithing is the notion that tithing is a principle that can be applied in a mercenary way. Presented wholly in this aspect, tithing is merely seen as a sly way to give a little and reap a lot. Yet many will attest to the working of the principle on this level. The law always works—even when it is used with a selfish motive. But if one restricts the working of the law to the money realm only, then as Jesus said, he “has his reward.” This is not to say that money is good or bad, or that it is wrong to expect Spirit to provide plenty of moneymaking ideas.
Ideas are the coin and currency of Spirit—ideas that bless, benefit, serve, and prosper everyone they touch. The prospering power of ideas is the essential truth behind the principle of tithing.
Tithe is a word that actually means “tenth.” Those who study numbers and spiritual things see amazing parallels between mathematics and spiritual principle. The ancients who pondered such matters regarded the number ten as the number of increase, a number that magically raised one’s consciousness to a higher level, to a new dimension of expansion. We certainly cannot disregard this feeling when we try to find answers to the questions, “Why does tithing work?” and “Why does it seem to work so dependably?” In considering these questions, we need to give thought to other questions as well, such as: “What do we expect of the Universal?” “What would we ask the Universal to do for us?” “What would we receive of the Universal?” “What would we demonstrate of the Universal?”
The law is that we can expect to out-picture in our life an increase of whatever we have given to the Universal, or Spirit. We are not speaking only of money, for the gifts of the Universal are not measured in dollars and cents. Rather, we mean, “What have we given of ourself?” “What have we given of our consciousness?” “What of our faith?” “What of our love?” “What of our joy?”
This is what Malachi meant when he said, “Bring the full tithes into the storehouse.” He was not speaking only of lambs and measures of grapes and grain, and he did not mean the process to be only a check to see that no one cheated in giving the honest measure of these things. He was referring to the “full tithe” of one’s soul qualities.
Jesus said, “You tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
Here we find the answer to the critics who prefer to believe that tithing is outmoded in the new order of things. Jesus clearly says not to leave these external things undone. But he also implies that there are even more vital gifts to be brought to Spirit. One of these is justice, or righteous judgment—beholding the Truth about and in all persons and conditions. Another is mercy, or kindness, consideration, good will, high esteem, love. And a third is faith, the real substance-shaping faculty that brings all good into form.
To the extent that we bring these gifts, these special tithes, into all of our relationships—marriage, family, social, political, or economic relationships—to this extent we will be richly supplied spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and financially. The importance of bringing the “full tithe” is that this is Spirit’s way of assuring us of well-rounded, well-balanced, genuine wealth. As we bring our full tithe, Spirit can shower its wholeness, its allness, its fullness upon us.
Tithing is a sure way to wealth, but search your heart thoroughly to find out what you believe true wealth to mean. Wealth doesn’t mean the same thing to any two persons. If you’ve been accepting someone else’s concept of wealth, or if you’ve been trying to achieve society’s definition of wealth, perhaps it is time for you to draw your conclusions for yourself.
What would make you feel wealthy? What you want is not really a list of superficial things, but the fulfillment of the desire at the very rock-bottom of your consciousness for what would give you peace, joy, and a deep sense of fulfillment.
The meaning of the word wealth is rooted in earlier Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon words which refer to “welfare” and “well-being.” An even older Indo-European word from which our word wealth derives means “to wish,” or “to choose.” In a very real sense, wealth is not merely the demonstration of money and material things, but is the process of wishing and choosing successfully. Wealth is the development of the capacity to think, choose, and ideate whatever is positive and uplifting in life.
Spirit’s wealth is not only the wealth of having, but it is also the wealth of giving. Spirit is infinite wealth, for Spirit gives infinitely. We affirm and prove our Sonship in choosing to give as freely of all that we have and all that we are. In this way we activate the universal Truth principle that is a sure way to wealth.