by Denise Ellis
Tithing is a practice that has endured for millennia. Many of the world's spiritual and secular icons attribute their success and fullness to the practice of tithing.
In the Judea Christian Tradition a tithe was a percentage of the best flocks, herds and produce. When money became a medium of exchange at least one-tenth of all money received by the individual was ushered into religious channels.
It is important to be clear about what tithing is and what it is not. A tithe is neither a gift, reward, charity or payment for services. It is one-tenth, or more of the individual's income left with Source as belonging to Source. It is left as a symbol of the conscious contact between the individual and Source.
Often tithes are referred to as seed gifts. Perhaps because farmers traditionally set aside one-tenth of the best seed raised for replanting. Returning the seed to the soil promotes growth and the continuation of the life cycle.
The purpose of tithing is to promote and expand the support of that individual or organization engaged in spiritual activity. In another manner of speaking, tithing is sowing and reaping, cause and effect. Without tithing, diminishing returns and dissipation of wealth occurs because of a break in the flow of substance. Tithing preserves and amplifies the individual's contact with Source in a tangible way.
Often the question arises... "To whom should the tithe be paid?". It is considered best to tithe at the point where the individual directly contacts his or her spiritual work. Often it is not the largest spiritual organization but the particular individual, organization or immediate source of one's spiritual help or inspiration. Great spiritual organizations have been built and expanded by cooperative efforts. Spiritual ministry can be no stronger than the support its followers will permit. A starved spiritual ministry cannot give to the individual or to the community the best spiritual support.
What are the rewards of tithing? Primarily they are knowing that we are in harmony with our fundamental nature, as we experience peace and fulfillment unsurpassed by material rewards or any other accomplishment. Also, the derivation of a bountiful increase from our tithes is the joy and pleasure of Source to bestow.
In this season of the give-away, of harvest and opulence, get with the cornucopia. Tithe and prosper.
Thanks to E.V. Ingraham for the teaching on tithing. I appropriated liberally from his book "Wells of Abundance" subtitled "The Seven Planes of Supply and the Law of Increase."
Moonfire Meeting House
1691 County Rd. 39
Southampton, New York 11968
phone / fax 631-287-9000