Why I Tithe

by Nneka Kelly

I was officially introduced to the concept of tithing in my mid-twenties (before that I heard rumors:-). I took the 4T Prosperity program to establish the habit of tithing my time, talent, and treasure. I did it consistently for about a year, then I moved to another city. At that point I stopped tithing. For about 5 years, I would tithe in 6 month intervals and then begin to question the reasons why I was tithing and my motivation. Eventually, I would stop until I got the inclination again.Recently, I decided to establish the practice again. Before I started this time, I wanted to get clear on my intention behind the tithe, and what, if anything, I wanted to get out of it. I wanted to make it stick this time around. Here’s what I came up with.

Reason 5: Support The Elevation of Spiritual Awareness

When I learned to tithe, the 4T Prosperity program made it clear that a tithe was meant to be offered to the place where you received your spiritual nourishment. I suspect that this was because I was taking the class in a church. Since then, I realized that it is important to give regardless of the cause. However, I still practice tithing to the place where I get my spiritual nourishment because I want to support the elevation of spiritual consciousness. For me, that is the highest “cause”.

I happen to have a spiritual home that does an excellent job of raising consciousness. It starts with the feeling of unconditional love that I get anytime I walk through the doors, and continues with the uplifting, jamming sounds of the choir on Sunday. During the week, if I choose to explore different faiths I can, with classes in everything from the Bhagavad Gita, to the Bible, to Reiki Healing. I have a place to freely explore my ideas about God and share them with others on a similar quest. All of this requires money and time from volunteers. It is an honor for me to participate by tithing my time, talent, and treasure.

Reason 4: 10 Is More Than 5, But Less Than 15

One of the questions that’s often asked about tithing is “Why 10%, why not 5 or 15?” It seems like an arbitrary number. When I first started tithing, I was a student in graduate school barely making ends meet. The idea of giving away 10% of what I thought was not enough to begin with was difficult to digest. If someone said I could give 5%, I would have said no problem. I could give up breakfast and that would be that. If they said 15%, I would have turned around and said later for this. 10% was a stretch. I had to change my idea of money as finite. It propelled me to examine the idea that there might be an abundance of money and 10% was just a slice like every other slice that would come back to me with no problem, and more than likely multiplied.

As I deepen my spiritual awareness, I find myself giving more than 10%. I have had the experience that as I give more, more returns to me in unexpected and sychronistic ways. I get new income generating ideas and I am drawn to execute them. My relationships improve because I am open, giving, and accepting. I even eat better because I generally feel that it (food and money) will be there later. I don’t have to have it all now or hoard it.

Reason 3: Practice Surrender

When I realize that my life is unmanageable, there are 2 spiritual practices that I establish immediately, meditating daily, and tithing. I establish both for the same reason, to surrender. To let go of my idea of the way things should be and force myself to abide at a higher level of consciousness. It turns my focus from manipulating the world, to harmonizing with the force that underlies all life, God. Every time I write the check I am reminded to let go and to progress with the movement of life, to practice the Serenity Prayer.

Reason 2: Establish God as My Source

Hand in hand with surrender, is the establishment of God as my Source. When I speak of God, I am talking about the essence of life, the field of infinite possibilities, higher consciousness, not a being separate from me. Tithing is a concrete way to bring my awareness to my connection to God.

Of course, there are great benefits to living in this mode of awareness. I begin to live in a place where ideas abound. Solutions for complex, seemingly unsolvable problems are apparent and easy to execute. Staying in a place where I know that there are infinite possibilities allows me to make the most empowering choice in a given moment. This practice results in increased income, as well as harmonious relationships and fulfilling work. I begin to enjoy every moment and those moments add up to a happy life.

Reason 1: I Love To Give

The most important reason why I tithe is because I love to give. I don’t know if there have been any scientific studies on the hormones released when something is given, a hug, a smile, money, but it’s just euphoric. Part of it has to do with the idea of feeling able, knowing that I am fortunate enough to give. Part of it has to do with making a difference. I know that my tithe will be used to enhance someone’s life. Chances are many people would benefit. I just enjoy doing it!

Why do you give of your time, talent and treasure?

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