Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #61
Jack writes some things in today’s lesson that really bother me. In the first paragraph, he says, “By tithing regularly, you, too, can put into motion God’s universal force, bringing you continual abundance.” My concern is that many readers may misunderstand that this means tithing will guarantee monetary success. Jack actually writes that tithing “is one of the best guarantees of prosperity ever known.”
What is tithing?
The Bible clearly spells out what tithing is. Leviticus 27:30 (NIV) reads, A tithe (tenth) of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
If it weren’t for God, we would have nothing. When we fail to give back to him our tithe, we are, in essence, robbing God.
Malachi 3:10 (MSG) was written to the Israelites at a time when they were holding back their tithes. It reads:
Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. “You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ “The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse —the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.”
If we are in a relationship with God, our love for him ought to compel us to give more than ten percent to his work. The way I look at it, the tithe is just the beginning. If I could give fifty percent, I would.
Why can’t I bring myself to tithe?
As an abuse survivor, I have sometimes experienced difficulty with tithing, because it meant that I was giving up control of the one part of my life that I thought I could manage. God’s laughing his head off over that statement, I’m sure!
We may have trouble trusting God, because our earthly parents did not provide for us. We see our money as our own…a means to keep ourselves safe from harm. Letting go of just ten percent of our earnings may stir up feelings of fear.
It is true that God promises blessings to those who release their hold on their tithes. But those blessings may not necessarily come in the form of millions of dollars. They may come to us as friendships, respect, peace, and joy. If we are giving from the love God has placed in our hearts, the peace we get in return for giving is immeasurable.
Practice two types of tithing.
There are two types of tithing: giving of our money; and giving of our time. The closer we grow in relationship with God, the more we want to give back to him. Just writing a check to the church or a charity isn’t enough. We want to volunteer as much of our free time as we can to serve others. That’s because God’s love can’t be contained within us. The more we receive, the more we feel compelled to give.
Examine your budget and calendar. Consider how much of your money and time are going toward God’s work. Are you giving him what he deserves? Or are you robbing him? If you can’t bring yourself to tithe, consider your view of God and your relationship with him. Do you need to surrender control over this part of your life to him? Can you trust him to provide if you let go of ten percent?