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Tithing and The Circle of Life – To Tithe, or Not • Active Spirituality

Tithing and The Circle of Life – To Tithe, or Not

By Bruce Bernstein | Being Spiritual is Quick and Easy

Sep 20

The 21st Century Understanding and Definition for Tithing

​Tithing is greatly misunderstood. Religions often take advantage of the misconceptions surrounding the act of tithing to enrich themselves at the expense of their followers.

In this post, we'll explore that further and re-define the act of tithing, ​making it appropriate for the 21st century and bringing it back to the realm of Spirituality.

Tithing

Tithing may not seem controversial.  Just give, people may say.  What’s wrong with that?

At first glance, nothing.  But let’s examine this in a little more detail. 

The internal drivers, the hidden motivations of the person who’s talking about tithing is an issue.  What’s their true motivation?  Do they have something to gain from this teaching?

More...

Religious leaders have a huge, overwhelming need for you to give.  If you don’t, they go out of business.  And make no mistake, their version of religion is a business.

True, many of them may dispense valuable advice.  However, most fall far short when it comes to the one subject they’re really supposed to preach about: Spirituality.

They can be good at providing guidelines for what they believe is moralistic behavior – good or bad.  But here’s the thing: that’s not Spirituality. 

Behavior is Not Spirituality

Behavioral advice has little to do with advancing Consciousness.  It’s just an attempt to help people behave a certain way.  And, to tithe is just one of those behaviors.

But the motivation behind their ‘teaching’ on this subject, their true intent, is mostly self-serving.  It is the key to their survival, even though there might also be some benefit for their followers.

And it is true that there might be some benefit.  This would depend upon the inner motivations of those who are giving.

​Key Takeaway...

"​​Behavioral advice has little to do with advancing Consciousness.  It’s just an attempt to help people behave a certain way.  And, to tithe is just one of those behaviors."

If one gives purely from the intention (their inner motivators) of creating the possibility of getting something in return, as many religions would have them do, then the odds of any positive benefit coming back to them – of actually getting something in return – are greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated.

Want proof?  There are millions of people who watch TV preachers and send money all the time.  Many of them are poor.  Have you ever heard of any of these poor folks turning things around to become wealthy?

Now, when giving is done with a different understanding, from a different perspective, it can and will increase the likelihood of getting something in return.  That is the Circle of Life.  That is actively participating in the collective Consciousness of all.

This brings me to this more updated, definition of tithing.

Tithing Defined

When one’s intent is pure so too is the adage: ‘What goes around, comes around.’  What does the idea of a pure intent actually mean?

Purity of intent is simply this: The reason behind one’s thoughts and actions is not personal gain.

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Now, does this mean that personal gain will not come?  No.  And, does it also mean that it is wrong to expect personal gain?  Again, no.

It is perfectly fine to have an expectation that in some way good deeds, including tithing, will come back to us at some point in the future; that our desires will also be met.  This is the Circle of Life in action.

But, and this is critical, personal gain cannot be one’s motivation for giving, both in the moment when the giving is done, and at any time before and after. 

One must give for only one reason: Simply to help a fellow human, plant, or animal attain their desires.  The act of seeing another succeed can be the only motivation for giving or helping another.

What About The Joy I Get?

It is okay to find personal joy in being part of and seeing another’s joy?  Absolutely!  But the expectation that something other than joy felt for another’s success is where many go wrong.  And this is a critical error as it could negate any potential good that might be coming back to them.

The reason to help another is very simple.  We’re all connected.  We’re all part of the same collective Consciousness.

​Key Takeaway...

"​Always remember: You are God.  You are a creator.  So, there is the possibility that you were sent to that exact place and time just so you could help that person."

So, when one person’s desires are met, we all benefit, even if we don’t ever notice the benefit or our connection to the other person. 

Always remember: You are God.  You are a creator.  So, there is the possibility that you were sent to that exact place and time just so you could help that person.

If you don’t help when you can, and also feel properly motivated to do so, that could be a situation where you’ve shirked your responsibility, failed the collective Consciousness of all.  You’ve dropped the ball; broken the Circle of Life.

Is this the worst thing to do?  No.  Certainly not.

But it is a misunderstanding of ‘God’ and the way God works.  And, it will disrupt the flow of positive energy that comes back to you.

Another Approach

This way of looking at giving does provide a new understanding, but it also raises questions.

One of them might be about drawing the line; about giving to anyone and everyone.  Are there situations when not giving is okay?

Yes.  It really depends upon the motivations of the person who is asking for help.  Is their intent pure?  If not, ignoring their request is valid.  You don’t have to give to people who are trying to deceive or cheat you.

If there is something ‘rotten’ with their intent, you don’t have to help, as they are likely operating outside the realm of the collective Consciousness.  They are operating strictly for personal gain, from their Ego self.

This would include every person and situation, from the homeless person on the street (there are those who make a very good living begging, yet make themselves look awful simply to manipulate others to give to them), to the preacher who flies around the world in an expensive, private jet, claiming to be helping others.

The greatest likelihood is: They’re really only helping themselves.  Otherwise, they’d be traveling by bus, or flying coach to preserve the money you gave them to help others (and not themselves).

(Don’t misunderstand.  There is nothing wrong with a wealthy preacher traveling in an expensive, private plane.  What could be problematic, though, is the way in which they created their wealth.  Have they been honest?  Did they write a value adding, pure, best-selling book?  Or, do they deceive their followers for their own personal gain?)

The Bottom Line

It is never necessary to give to a church or other religious organization, for any reason, even if you’re extremely wealthy and can easily afford to give the gift.  Giving when properly inspired is limitless and there is no expectation that a religious organization must be the receiver of any gifts.

And, if the religious organization is doing anything to elicit a monetary gift, (or a ‘tithe’, as they would call it), it would be wise to leave that organization, and to not give.

Their intent quite likely is not pure and giving in this situation is usually a waste of money, especially when looked at from a more pure perspective of ‘tithing’.

Sure, it would be fine to simply let people know in a very simple and dispassionate way that donations are accepted.  There is nothing wrong with that.

​Key Takeaway...

"​Helping your fellow man (or plants and animals) to achieve their desires is a good thing.  Offer kind words.  Offer a smile.  Give freely to help others, especially when you feel genuine inner inspiration to do so."

But anything beyond that, including any sort of emotional appeal on any level, would be crossing the line of purity of intent.

Helping your fellow man (or plants and animals) to achieve their desires is a good thing. Offer kind words.  Offer a smile.  Give freely to help others, especially when you feel genuine inner inspiration to do so.

That inner inspiration could be your God Self communicating with you and responding to this would be an act of connection.  (First, though, to make this assessment, you would have to learn how to evaluate what is true inspiration versus what is an Ego self urging.)

You would be doing your part to participate in and complete the Circle of Life.  As a God, that is your responsibility.

But you should never feel like you are ‘on the hook’ to be deceived or ‘duped’ by those whose intent is to take advantage.  Don’t be afraid to ignore these situations.  Ignoring them also is part of the Circle of Life.

It is never good to support an enabler, to assist in the creation of another's deceptions.

​About Bruce

Bruce, Spiritual Teacher

​Bruce is a published author, speaker, student/teacher of Spirituality, and founder of The Spiritual Workshop. Beginning in the 1980's, he was guided to look inside for his answers and information and is now teaching the Wisdom gained and the processes for introspective self-learning.

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