(for additional tithing-related questions, CLICK HERE)
Have another question? Send it to me or leave a question or comment below and I’ll be glad to answer! Check out NPR’s Marketplace story on tithing by clicking HERE. (The reporter tithed to me for 30 days while doing background research for the story!)
Q. IsThere a Wrong Way to Tithe? I got half way through your tithing book and became so excited and inspired I cannot even express it to you! I immediately began tithing 10%, believing in the principle that supports this very strongly. I must tell you though, that at this point in time, after tithing 10% of every bit of income I have had since I began the book, I am now in the negative in my checking account and the two tithing checks haven’t even been presented to my bank yet. I am praying to see abundance around me, and I am doing wrong?
A. Thank you for your kind words about my work. There’s no “wrong” way to tithe. There are, however, some internal checks you should make to be sure you’re actually tithing, and not just giving 10% of your money away. First, let’s look at why you decided to start tithing. What motivated you to tithe? Are you tithing out of gratitude to places to that feed your spirit? Are you tithing to get something in return? Are you tithing to places that “need” instead of places that resonate with you? Check in with those basics.
When you receive income, is your tithe the first check you write, out of gratitude for what you’ve received, or is it the last check you write? Giving thanks with the very first outflow is tithing at its best. Next, what have you received since you started tithing?
Think outside the box, not just what you’ve received in cold hard cash, but what gifts have others given to you or attempted to give to you? Often times, people who experience what you are experiencing discover that they have opened up incredible channels of good, and that they have actually been “turning down” their good, by not accepting the gifts that are offered.
Are you open to receiving and saying thank you when people attempt to give things to you, or do you see them as giving to you out of a sense of obligation, giving “too much” or to feed your need, or because they are offering charity to you?
See everything that is offered to you as a gift. Write it down. Start keeping track of the good that flows into your life, in whatever form it takes – a missed accident; an easy-going exchange with someone you’ve previously had conflict with. (It’s actually a sign of abundance that the two tithing checks you sent out haven’t been presented to your bank.)
Next, look to see if you’re being a good steward with what you have. When you saw that your checking account balance was low, you made a choice to spend more than was in there, or you made a choice to stay vague about how much you had, or how much would automatically be coming out of your account. Don’t judge these choices, just acknowledge them and decide if you want to continue making those choices or not. Call the people you tithed to and ask them to hold the checks for you until you call them back and tell them otherwise.
Each day, look to see where you can step up into a higher level of integrity with your finances. I strongly recommend getting a copy of my free e-booklet, Heal Your Relationship With Money, to see where your money beliefs might be getting in the way of your good.
A. I encourage you not to plant the seed in yourself or anyone else that a 1%, 2%, 5% or 8% tithe isn’t a tithe. While the root of the world “tithe” is “tenth”, the word actually means the the first part, or a portion and is about the consciousness behind the giving, not the amount or percentage that is given.
Psychologically, we set ourselves and others up for failure when we disdain or denigrate or devalue what is given. When we affirm that a 1% tithe isn’t a tithe, that is exactly what we’re doing.
While it may be a matter of semantics to some and a matter of perception to others, the goal of the Giving Thanks Tithing Mastery Program is to create the reality that people are tithing from right consciousness rather than tithing from the appearance that 1% isn’t a tithe.
By affirming that the amount given isn’t REALLY tithing unless it is 10%, you sabotage the intention behind the effort before it gets rolling! When you create the reality that a tithe is made from right consciousness, you set yourself and others up for SUCCESS.
If you’d like to learn how to overcome the fears and any struggle around tithing a full 10%, I highly recommend the 10 week graduated tithing class, Giving Thanks Tithing Mastery Class.
The class and the study guide for it are free, although I do suggest you get a copy of Giving Thanks: The Art of Tithing if you don’t already have one, since the study guide follows the book.
You can download a free copy of the study guide by clicking Giving Thanks Tithing Mastery Program. Then go to Tithing Mastery Course page and listen to the free 10 week study course. Take the course over the full 10 weeks so you give yourself time to do the homework and “work up” to tithing a full 10%.
If you can, find others who are willing to commit to doing the class too, so you have people who are willing to come together and let their energy feed each other.
Q. Who Should We Tithe To? How can we give our tithe to anyone we want? The Bible says: Bring ye all the tithe to the storehouse, so there will be meat in my house, and prove methat I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there will not be room to receive it. Malachi 3:10. Also Malachi 3:8-9 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
A. Thank you for your letter regarding tithing. As you noted in the Bible, it says that we should bring our tithe to God’s storehouse. The storehouse was the place where the Levites, those who had been called by God to do God’s work, gathered together tithes of money and goods to distribute out again to others.
I’m not recommending that people give their tithe to “anyone they want,” by any means. I’m encouraging people to give their tithes to God’s storehouse: places that feed their spirit, places that inspire, uplift and enlighten them, as the Levites fed the spirits (physically and emotionally) of those they ministered to.
Too often, people give their tithes out of a sense of obligation, rather than out of a true understanding of tithing: giving thanks for what they have been given. Wherever you are spiritual fed is where you should give your tithe. This is God’s storehouse for your life. Hopefully this is your local church or temple, for local spiritual organizations then pass along their tithes to local causes and provide much-needed community support.
Some people give their tithe only when they go to church, and the weeks they don’t go to church they don’t tithe. This is how we rob God. And then they wonder why they are not experiencing greater abundance in their lives!
Other people are afraid to tithe to people, thinking that it will be viewed as payment for services rendered, as opposed to an offering of thanksgiving. God wanted us to make a point of giving back 10% of what we have been given, freely and willingly and cheerfully, as thanks for the blessings we’d received. God is omnipresent: present everywhere, in everything. By tithing to where you are spiritually fed, whether that inspiration comes at church or somewhere else, you bless and thank God.
We are all ministers of one sort or another. We are all called to be of service and how we answer that call is up to each of us individually. God’s storehouse is the multitude of servants who are called to do his work. There are many people who will undoubtedly tithe to you (whatever name they give it) of their time, talents and treasures for you feeding their spirit in some way. We all do this. I just recommend doing it consciously so that we acknowledge God in all our tithes, whether we are receiving them or giving them.
My income comes from God. One of the channels of good that God uses to bring income to me is through the tithes and offerings of people who have been fed spiritually by the work that I do. And every day, I give thanks and tithe back to where I’ve been spiritually fed. It might be a church where I’ve just spoken, it might be my home church, it might be to a musician, it might be to a speaker, it might be to someone who just lightened my burden for me in a way that they never even knew.
Wherever you are spiritually fed, tithe there. Whatever you consider to be your storehouse, tithe there. Tithe there gratefully, with an outpouring of joy and thanksgiving and your tithe will be received and multiplied by God’s goodness. This is the blessing that God has promised to pour out upon you — to overflowing!
Have another question?
Send it to me or leave a question or comment below and I’ll be glad to answer!