(Based on Rev. Edwene Gaines book “the four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity)
Scripture: “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.” 11 Corinthians 9:8 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity. Deuteronomy 28:11 “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full”. John 16:24
As human beings living on this planet, our lives are subjected to a multitude of laws determining the safety and survival of our rather fragile physical bodies on this planet. They are not optional if we desire to continue our lives here. Like physical laws there are also spiritual laws. And as truth seekers in Unity we are attempting to recognize and implement these laws in our thoughts and actions in order to live happily and well and to make a positive difference in our world through our consciousness and through the actions we take.
The truth is Prosperity is the consciousness of God’s presence everywhere. And God wants you to be prosperous! Like many prosperity teachers, Edwene has determined that there are spiritual laws that govern our prosperity and that they are NOT optional. Her Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity are:
1. You must tithe 10 percent of all that you receive to the person, place, or institution where you have received your spiritual food. Putting god first in your finances is a dynamic act of courage. When you do so, your faith and your ability to stretch yourself, to move forward, and to expand your vision of yourself and your life increases a hundred-fold.
2. You must set clear-cut, tangible goals. Goal-setting is looking honestly at where you are, choosing where you want to be, and then setting a clear and deliberate intention to go there. Doing so forces you to live consciously, in the moment, rather than unconsciously.
3. You must forgive everyone all the time, especially yourself. Forgiveness is a discipline and a powerful spiritual practice that will enable you to feel worthy enough to live prosperously. It requires a diligence and a commitment to compassion and understanding.
4. You must seek, discover and follow your divine purpose. You must assign significance and meaning to your life, giving yourself strength and endurance and bringing joy to your existence on a daily basis. When you are aligned with your divine purpose, you bring a passion to all that you do.
The four spiritual laws are just as much a force in your life as is the law of gravity. They are very simple laws, but none of them are optional, and it does not matter if you believe in them or not. They play a powerful role in your life regardless.
Today we begin with Tithing. In our four week class that begins today after church, we’ll delve deeper into each law with practical exercises that will apply the teachings to our lives. By more clearly understanding these spiritual laws of prosperity, by setting your intention to prosper beyond what you have ever experienced before, and by following through with right thought and right actions, you will make the truth active in your life. By consciously living with greater prosperity we raise the consciousness of plenty in our world and ultimately we’re able to bless others, as well as ourselves, to a greater degree.
Scripture: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse and by this put me to the test… if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing… that there shall not be room enough for you to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
Edwene addresses many of the common questions that come up for individuals in conjunction with tithing.
What is a tithe? The word tithe means a tenth. To tithe is to return 10 percent of all we have already received to a person, place, or institution from which we have received spiritual food.
What is spiritual food? Spiritual food is that which inspires us, teaches us, reminds us of the Truth, and causes us to remember who we really are. It gives you a boost, a feeling of hope and inspiration. It brings you joy, and you know you’re living your divine purpose when you experience joy.
Giving to charity is NOT a tithe. It’s a kind and generous thing to do, but it isn’t a tithe. What is important is that you tithe first. Then, after you’ve given your 10% you can consider charitable giving. Instead of tithing to NEED, you must tithe to ABUNDANCE and ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GOD IS YOUR SOURCE moving through many different channels. To be prosperous you must tithe. But over and above the tithe, you can give to anyone you want to for any reason. Just know that charitable giving is different from and is NOT a tithe. Tithe first.
What is the purpose of the tithe? The real purpose of the tithe is to acknowledge that God is the source of our good and that we are aware and grateful for the good in our lives. The tithing promise is that if we tithe, we prove God in our lives, and the windows of heaven can open for us. As Malachi 3:10 said: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse and by this put me to the test… if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing… that there shall not be room enough for you to receive it.”
God does not need your money. You need to give because tithing is a beginning discipline in giving and receiving. When we tithe on that which we have already received, we give back to the universe, and when the universe gives back to us and more, we learn that we cannot outgive God.
Tithing is putting into action the principle of circulation. Both giving and receiving are essential to this principle. You must receive in order to have something to give. You must give in order to receive. To prosper, you must do both.
What if my partner/ spouse/family/doesn’t believe in tithing? It is appropriate to share with your partner your commitment to acknowledge God as the source of your good, and then ask your partner what portion of the income is yours to tithe on.
When do I tithe? The sooner we tithe on income received, the sooner we make room for more to flow in. There is one of two things going on in this universe at all times: There is circulation or there is congestion. If we hold on to our tithe, what we’re saying to the universe is, “Don’t send me any more. I haven’t tithed on this yet.”
What if those I tithe to don’t need it? That’s not our concern. Our tithes must go to those who have fed us spiritual food. We acknowledge God as our source by giving 10 percent to those who feed us spiritual food.
What do I tithe on? We tithe on all money that we receive. Salary, bonuses, interest earned, monetary gifts, dividends, proceeds from the sale of a house, money we win, inherit, or find on the street. Everything! All financial income! No matter through what channel it came, its origin is God.
We can tithe on gross or net – It depends on how much we desire to prosper. Greater faith is required to tithe on gross but to begin by tithing on net may be as much faith as you have at the starting point. If tithing is new to you, begin where you are now. This is a new beginning. Don’t be concerned with what you have earned or been gifted with before today.
Do I have any say in how my tithe may be used? No. You must tithe without any attachment! How the church, person or institution cares to use the tithe is up to them alone. In addition, you do not make moral judgments on that person or institution. You give your tithe and how it is used is none of your business.
How can I tithe when I can’t even pay my bills? Tithe first and trust God to assist you in paying the bills. Be responsible about money and refuse to create debts that you feel guilty about. Ask for wisdom. Then tithe.
How do I overcome my fear of tithing? We move through our fears by doing. Just tithe, in spite of your fears, and hold to the promise that you are proving that God is the source of your good.
Can I be excused from tithing because I’m retired, or on welfare, or unemployed, or in school, or on a fixed income etc? No one is excused from obeying spiritual law. Lack of faith will cause you to justify not tithing, but that thinking will keep you from your unlimited abundance. Affirm instead that your good is unlimited. In God’s mind there is no such thing as a “fixed income”.
Isn’t it sinful to be so concerned with money? Money is a spiritual symbol of invisible spiritual substance. Money is not evil. It’s just that when we begin to love money more than our integrity that we begin to have problems. God has put you’re here on earth so that you may have it all – IF you are willing to have it all.
Faith expands when you give and Faith is a choice. Choose to believe that the law of tithing is true. Choose to believe that God is your source and your Faith will expand. “According to your faith, be it done unto you.” Matthew 9:29
Tithing is the first spiritual law of prosperity. It is participating in the circulation of God’s great good. It is acknowledging God as our Source and Sustainer and allowing God’s good to flow through many channels. As we receive we give back a portion to the place, institution or person from whom we are receiving spiritual food - inspiration, spiritual understanding, and Truth teachings. As we give back to God in this way, we will realize the Truth that we have ever more to share.
Money is a convenient exchange of energy and necessary to the world we live in but it is not our Source or security. We give thanks that God is the source of all our good and our true security and we honor our Source through our tithes and right actions.