The Ten Percent Solution
July 29, 2010
A number of years ago a survey was conducted which asked people if they were happy with their present incomes. The vast majority, regardless of how much or how little money they earned, replied, “I’d be happy if I could only earn 10% more.” Is this 10% figure a coincidence? From my personal experience and the experience of the many friends I know that tithe regularly, if those same people tithed 10% with deep gratitude and faith in God, that persistent feeling of lack, of “not quite enough,” would vanish.
“If you tithe a portion of your income to God, you will find that, far from depriving yourself, you will be blessed by the Source of all abundance, God. All real security comes from Him. Until you understand and accept this truth, your path through life will forever remain uncertain. But the more you live for Him, the more you will find Him taking care of you—even in the smallest details of your life.”
— Swami Kriyananda, Money Magnetism
Everyone on this planet has “issues” to work out. Many of these issues revolve around the heart. One of the best methods for overcoming negative emotions of the heart is to stop thinking about them and yourself and think more of others. That is where tithing comes in. Regular tithers feel a connection with a greater reality—a connection which is a powerful antidote to the limiting thought, “But, what about ME?”
The more we cling to a narrow focus on our own life and problems the more happiness will elude us. The more we seek to expand our self-identity, sensitively responding to all of creation as part of our own Self, the more we will live in unshakable inner joy. Expansion is a key component to spiritual growth, and tithing is one more way we can affirm our Oneness with all that is.
How best to decide on a tithing percentage to start with? Two questions to ask yourself are, “Can I give this percentage with joy?” and “Does it feel like a bit of a stretch that’s right at the edge of my faith in God?” If the answer to both these questions is, “Yes,” then you’ve probably found a good starting point.
Agree in your heart with God on a percentage of your income that you will give to Him. Then, as you begin to tithe that percentage, whatever its source, watch as whatever fear and “tightness” you may have around money and work begin to melt away. You will find yourself increasingly relaxed and at rest in this new relationship with the Divine Source. Gratitude and love will flow in through this new window you’ve opened to God’s grace, and your desire to open that window wider and wider increases.
Make your tithe monthly, or every paycheck, or tithe on every bank deposit you make. It is up to you. One tempting pitfall to avoid: Don’t allow yourself to wait to tithe until you get that big check you expect in six months, at the end of the year, or around tax refund time. Tithing is a means to help you build a loving relationship with God, as the Source of your well-being.
Don’t let your ego get in the way with the thought that you have to give 10 percent. If you’ve decided to start at 2% written on each bank deposit and that turns out to be $3.20, don’t let pride keep you from writing that check. Or you may feel badly in the thought that such a small amount won’t help God’s work very much. That is not the point. Your growing faith and freedom from relying on the material world to support you is His work. Tithing will help you grow spiritually.
Joy to you!
Thank You, God