Tithing 101 - or Inspiration, Celebration, Everybody Else...
Spirit and Destiny featured my take on the Biblical teaching of Tithing this month. Here are more details on how and why this works so well.
Most people think that tithing is a Biblical command to give the first ten per cent of your earnings to charity. However, the system was invented to harness the Law of Attraction. It does address an order of giving when money comes in – but it is emphatic that this is in order to bless you and to bring prosperity back to you.
The word “tithe” means one tenth but in ancient days a tenth did not necessarily mean a tenth of all your income – because most people didn’t have an income! They dealt in trade and, as a general rule, a tenth was one whole thing – as in one whole chicken, one whole sheep, one fig, one cheese. In the modern world, it can mean one whole banknote or one whole coin. There’s no need to fear that you will be asked to give more than you can afford. One penny or one cent is a good first step in tithing. You can build up to the more traditional ten per cent if you want to (but only if you want to).
The order of tithing is simple:
1 Spiritual Tithe (Leviticus 27:30)
2 Celebration Tithe (Deuteronomy 12:6, 17-18; 14:22-27).
3 Charity Tithe, (Deuteronomy 14:28; 26:12) every third year only.
In the modern age, it means give 1/ towards Spiritual Inspiration. 2/ for celebration/gifts for yourself and 3/ to everybody else – including paying the bills.
In this way, you show the Universe your priorities. You want firstly inspiration (ideas and blessings to make your life happier), secondly fun and festivity and thirdly to be prosperous enough to pay your dues and help others.
How most people practise this form of tithing is to have a couple of attractive bags or boxes; one for the inspiration tithe and one for the celebration tithe. They place a little bit of money in the boxes first as soon as it comes in. That money can then be saved up to buy something special or spent immediately – the important thing is that it means you have taken power and are stating to the Universe that you expect a life of prosperity and not debt or fear.
Most people actually think that it's important to put charity or bill-paying first but, if you do that, then the Universe puts other people before you too — and will continue to do so. Focus on bills and you will receive more bills; focus on the world being in need and the world will continue to be in need. If you put inspiration first then you will find very swiftly that there is always money to give to others/pay the bills and to help the world from a place of prosperity and strength, but if you give to others/pay the bills first then there's never enough left for you...
Although the Bible talks about the first ten per cent being given to the Temple priests, this was because they were meant to be the source of inspiration to the populace. The priests did not have time to work for a living or tend flocks as they looked after the people’s religious needs. Nowadays, most priests are paid wages – and they may not be your source of inspiration. This is the key – what inspires you? What takes you closer to your own personal relationship with Divinity? Is it a book you’d like to buy? Is it a workshop you’d like to go to? Is it an inspirational teacher you’d like to hear? That’s where to put your money – and your angels and guides will give you more opportunities to be inspired in return. It may take you a few weeks to save up for what you want but the money is there, in the box or the savings account, telling the Universe clearly what your priorities are.
The celebration tithe was, originally, intended for people to be able to travel to Jerusalem for the great festivals four times a year. Everyone would all travel together as an extended family, or even as a village and, while in Jerusalem they would eat, drink, make merry and arrange marriages.
But the Old Testament is very clear that if you can’t get to Jerusalem you should spend the value of the tithe on a feast (including strong drink!) so it’s a clear message to have fun.
When I was stony broke I turned my life around with this system. At the time I could only afford to put 50p/$1 in each of the pots at a time but that did mean that I felt more abundant than if I didn’t have any hope whatsoever of getting a book to help me, a treat for supper or even a bar of chocolate.
Nowadays, I often use part of my spiritual tithe to buy a great bunch of white lilies for my chapel both because it's dedicated to St. Gabriel (who is patron of white lilies) and because just seeing those lilies inspires me. It’s entirely personal what inspires you. The festival tithe ensures, at the very least, that there is always a bottle of champagne and a pack of smoked salmon in the refrigerator.
Of course it's fine to use your spiritual tithe as a gift for others who inspire you but if you want to be prosperous, you will only be inspired by people who are already prosperous themselves so be sure you distinguish between giving from true inspiration and giving to support or help someone. That’s the third tithe, not the first one.
The tithing system is incredibly powerful. It tells the Universe what is important in your life. And it truly does work with 50p/$1. Of course you can give more if you want and you will want to as your financial prosperity increases.
There is also a fourth tithe in the Old Testament – the Sabbatical tithe. Every seventh year the land was rested and all debts forgiven. The land lay fallow so that it could replenish itself, and the people lived from the grain stock from the previous six years. They could do that because they were using the Law of Attraction to ensure that there would be abundant grain.
The forgiveness of debts is a lovely idea too. No one took on a debt for more than seven years – and although they were expected to make every effort to repay it, if they could not, the amount was forgiven and forgotten as part of the seventh year.
Nowadays, some of the more prosperous countries are forgiving Third World Debt. That can only be a good thing – and it’s evidence that this is primarily a good and abundant world, even if it takes us a little while to get round to the idea.
For those whose money goes directly into the bank, and whose bills go out via direct debit, all you have to do is go consciously into your bank account on the Internet when you know the money has gone in, and move some to new, named accounts. With online banking you can have as many current accounts as you like so if you have one called Inspiration and one called Celebration - or Play - or Delight. If you move money to them as soon as you consciously can, you are still sending a clear intent to the Universe that this is how you want your life to be even if you don't get there before the direct debits. You can either save the money for wonderful things, or spend it immediately; that's up to you.
Tithing works with time and attention as well. I seem to have a small farm to manage in the mornings nowadays so I make sure that I offer up a prayer of appreciation and have a handful of blueberries or some other treat before I feed dogs, cat, chickens, fish and anything else that may have moved in. It’s very simple but it shows the Universe my favoured order of life. I only have to forget and feed the others first and something always comes up to make it harder for me to take care of myself later in the day. Once you start this kind of work the Universe pays close attention and your guides/angels truly believe that you know what you are doing.
In the same way, when I open my computer in the morning and the emails come in, I always read the Abraham-Hicks inspirational note first, then the www.tut.com inspirational note, then any messages from friends and only then any work or financial emails. On some days that is still a challenge but it really makes the rest of the day flow much better.
It works too if I get stalled for any reason during the day or am over-thinking something. Stop; open a book of spiritual guidance (I have three by the desk) and read it and then have a treat — a biscuit, some grapes or a chocolate or perhaps I’ll get up and walk round the garden. Then my mind will have cleared and I can get back to whatever it was that was creating resistance.
Have fun with this. That's important. If it becomes a heavy duty then it will no longer work. The whole idea is that it is to lighten our attitude towards money and life so that the flow of abundance can strengthen to us and through us. And if you find this works, then please teach it on.