Tithing and the low level violence of giving too little at church

            In the success literature it’s an important principle: to give away 10% of what you make. In many of the texts – be it Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy or T. Harv Ecker you will find recommendations to the effect that your money should be allocated in certain ways that increase the likelihood of your succeeding in your business. Saving a certain percent, yes, putting a certain percent aside for business investment, yes, and always there should be a goodly percentage that goes to charity as well.

            The emphasis on giving away 10% seems puzzling to some and can even make people angry. “Why give away so much when I have so little?” you’re likely to hear. But that’s just the point. Like with saving: the financial experts recommend you save even a teeny bit out of whatever you have. Likewise, if you make a habit of giving away some of what you make, the multiplied effects can be huge.

            Poverty thinking is a disease that’s promulgated by many of the Western religions: the idea that it’s holy to be poor and there must be something wrong with you if you’re rich. Then when you end up poor, you can claim a certain viruosity. I always did. I’ve been poor most of my life – and continually

struggling to make ends meet. But at the same time, I felt I was being virtuous and could claim solidarity with the poor of the planet. But it certainly didn’t feel good, it was dehumanizing, humiliating, and as anyone who’s ever lived on the street will tell you, it tends you towards violence.

            No, poverty is not in and of itself a state of virtue. As a matter of fact it’s easier to be virtuous if you’re rich, than it is if you’re poor.

            The principle of giving is this: When you give away 10% of what you bring in you’re saying to yourself: I have enough for myself, and there’s more coming. I don’t have to live in fear holding onto every dime! And you project a sense of well-being, a sense of prosperity. Consequently you draw in prosperity into your reality. On the other hand when you put in a niggardly quarter onto the collection plate on Sunday, you’re saying I’m poor, I can’t afford to pay for my spiritual nourishment, I don’t value what I get here- it’s not worth much. So as you consider yourself poor, you draw to yourself more and more poverty.

            In the Jewish tradition it’s an accepted principle that when you go to synogogue it’s gonna cost you. A seat for the high holidays doesn’t come cheap! To Christians that’s rather an odd concept and you’re more likely to see poor Christian parishes than poor synagogues. And I dare say that’s why you see more poor people who are Christians.

            Giving doesn’t necessarily even have to be money. Giving is of all kinds, giving of your time, giving of your know-how, giving away things….

            Start giving, and giving seriously, and your life will expand in ways you couldn’t even imagine.It all comes back to you. Count on it!

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