At Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center, we believe in tithing. We tithe from all of our church income to organizations and people who spiritually inspire, encourage, and enrich us. We encourage our members and congregation to do the same. Not just because of how it benefits the church, but primarily because of how it benefits the giver. Many of us have discovered how generous God becomes to us as we become generous ourselves.

Readings on Tithing

It is a fallacy to believe that we will give more when we have more, because in that frame of mind, we never have enough. We are asked to give at the ten percent level, because it constantly keeps us on the edge. No matter our income, when we give at that level, we are demonstrating faith that God is our Source.  --Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

tithe--A tenth part. In the Old Testament the tithe or tenth is mentioned as a reasonable and just return to the Lord by way of acknowledging Him as the source of supply.   -Charles Fillmore, Revealing Word

tithing--Giving a tenth of one's supply to God and His work. Tithing is a tacit agreement that man is in partnership with God in the conduct of his finances. This leads to confidence and assurance that whatever is done will bring increase of some kind. "Give, and it shall be given unto you" (Luke 6:38).  - Charles Fillmore, Revealing Word

MATTHEW FOX from an interview in Personal Transformation magazine, January, 2000.

"People ought to tithe because they belong to a community that they believe in and they want to see prosper.  Tithing is a form of voluntary taxation.  In our culture, we should spend more time thinking in communitarian terms about taxation.  Politicians tell us how awful taxes are.  It is interesting to read polls.  Some polls say that Americans as a group, 80% or so, would pay greater taxes if they were guaranteed it would really save the environment.  That shows me that we are community-oriented.  Our species is a social species and we do care.  I think the negative attitude toward taxing is detrimental to us.  Some of our tax money is wasted, but not all of it.  There are community purposes for which we do tithe.  We do give some our work money away for the greater good.  It is an expression of interdependence.  I am not a parent but my taxes go to schools.  I do not resent that.  People paid for my school when I was nine years old, and they did not know me, so I should pay for another generation even though I may not know the kids.  It is about a sense of community.  One of the mistakes in the modern era is to over-individualize our existences, as if we are all rugged, individual atoms.  The new physics says there are no individual atoms.  Atoms link up and join to make molecules and cells and organisms and societies.  Tithing is a healthy tradition if it's done healthfully and is not about a power trip or  control."

RABBI SHONI LABOWITZ from an interview in Personal Transformation magazine, January, 2000.

"I know well the power of tithing and what it can do in someone's life.  There was a time when my husband and I did not earn a salary.  We weren't sure where our income was going to come from.  I attended a  lecture where a young man talked about how tithing had turned his life around.  I thought we were charitable and generous, but I realized that tithing meant taking ten percent off the gross of your income.  I returned home, we had maybe $40,000 to our name, and we had two children in high school, ready to go to college and I looked at my husband and I said, "It feels right, and I want to tithe $4,000."  We gave anonymously and all of a sudden, we had incredible sources of income.

My husband is also a rabbi.  We formed our own community when we realized that we were transforming the way we were living religiously.  We attracted people and had our own prayer services.  There came a time when we needed to ask these people, if they were serious, to start a membership and to make the community financially viable.  My father is a rabbi, and I flew up north to ask his blessing, because it was hard for me to ask people to make a commitment with money.  He taught from the Talmud, and told me that even if someone tithes for the sake of getting ten times in return, it is good tithes.  Sometimes we tithe altruistically but even if you want to get ten times back, it is okay.  He blessed me and I came back and started a membership, introducing people to the fact that they needed to pay membership and make the community financially viable.  It worked.  Today, when we get nervous about the temple or our own finances, and I feel like we might slip into the red, I look to see where we tithed last.  Even if tithing puts us in the red, somehow things come back.  In my tradition, Kabbula, the Kabbalists teach that God does not want a schlepper as a partner.  God wants you to be prosperous, God wants you to have pleasure in life.  What kind of a partner would you be if you did not feel your own sense of wealth and richness and abundance with all of God's gifts?"

**From “What Unity Teaches” by John Rankin

Another way of making a demand on the Divine treasury is to make yourself a channel of blessing and opulence to others. Some say that this was Jesus' own first law of prosperity, which He stated in these words: "Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over." He could hardly have made it plainer! This law uses the principle of reverse action or "boomerang"-what you send out most consistently (thoughts, feelings, words, deeds) must return to you sooner or later, And the more conscious you are of the principle, the more quickly you will discern the return of what you send out.

Henry Ford, Sr., said: "Most people think that prosperity comes in receiving, but it comes in giving." He was acquainted with these principles, and found them eminently practical. He knew, as many others know, that we cannot out-give God . . . that nothing we give can impoverish us, and all that we give enriches us.

Your church, whether you are a member or not, but the place where your spiritual nature is nourished, is an opportunity to test this principle for yourself, and make it possible for others to be reached with the message that has helped you. Our teaching places church contributions on an entirely new basis. No longer is it a matter of taking "collections," or pledges, or assessing a "head tax." Now it is a matter of each friend and member making a demand on the Divine treasury for a "refill-plus" by giving from his own treasury to the church which he finds most helpful.

Many Unity people (and others) practice tithing their incomes. A literal tithe is ten percent of your income. In Unity, the term is sometimes used to describe any systematic plan of giving to spiritual activities. The key word is "systematic." According to Divine law, systematic and orderly giving makes room in your life for systematic and orderly receiving. Accidental or incidental giving is likely to result in your receiving God's blessings in a way that will seem to you accidental, incidental, and unreliable. Planning to give according to a system means that you are consciously giving God a central place in your financial affairs, and Jesus said that if we put God first "all these things will be added unto you.”

In Unity you will never be pressured to make a donation. This is an individual matter, and your own understanding and demonstration of the law will guide you into ways of joyous, generous giving. As we grow together in this, you will find your church is enabled bring its teaching to more and more people in new and helpful ways. Your church knows that you have been blessed in your giving, and works and prays always to know how to double that blessing by using your gifts in the wisest and best ways it can.          

Some people say, "But I have nothing to give." Others postpone church membership because of similar feelings. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. Everyone who has anything at all has something they can give, and as they actually begin to give what they can, they will find their resources and abilities to give are increasing.  Giving is a mood, a way of life. It includes money-giving, but is by no means limited to it. The gift of a portion of your time, or a skill or a talent is often priceless-whether given to an organization or an individual. It is understanding the spiritual law, not the size of the visible gift, that makes it possible for you to receive as freely as you have given.

Supplementary Reading:

Bible References: ,

Job 22:21-25          God is our wealth

Psalm 1:1-3            Right use (righteousness) establishes success

Philippians 4:19      Infinite supply available

Matthew 6:25-34   Anxiety repels prosperity

Malachi 3:10          Law of Tithing

Luke 6:38              Law of Reverse Action