Like many of you, I have been challenged by recent events, and the almost hourly stream of news, tweets, and alternative facts that have been pouring from our nation’s capitol. What has become clear is that no matter how involved a citizen I was before, it is now time for me to step it up a notch, and I think that most of us probably need to step up our civic involvement, as well. Taking action instills hope, combats fear, and as we make progress, fuels gratitude. It aligns us with our principles, and allows us to live in integrity with who we say we want to be as individuals and as a nation. But it is not only taking action that can cause us to take heart in uncertain times.
Many people think that tithing is some sort of scam foisted on an unwitting populace by an oppressive religious institution. And, to be honest, there may have been points in history, in certain churches, where this was pretty close to the truth. That was my first experience with tithing, but thankfully not my last. When I was getting deeply involved in Unity, I was at Christ Church Unity in Orlando, and we had just hired a new minister. Rev. Alice taught tithing as a way of developing a relationship with God (Spirit; the Universe) that built faith and trust, and put us in the flow of the cycle of giving and receiving.
Faith is so central to religion and spirituality that our belief system is sometimes referred to as “our faith”. Faith is one of the 12 Powers of Humanity. Faith is one of the critical components of the Creative Process. To put it bluntly, without faith, we are little more than naked apes, wandering through the jungle in search of dinner and a mate. With faith, we are little gods, co-creating in the microcosm with Divine Mind overseeing the macrocosm. (Lest anyone take be perturbed by that last phrase, remember the text of John 10:34 - “Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”?”)
And what I have learned through the practice of tithing fully, even when at that moment my financial “facts” would claim I did not have enough even to keep a roof over my head, is that “God’s got it”. When things look bad, and I don’t see a way out, God’s got it. When I don’t understand why things are the way they are, God’s got it. When I don’t see how I’m going to make it through another day, God’s got it. The Universe has my back, and the speed and power with which it comes to my aid is proportional to my faith in its ability to do so.
The loss of my marriage to Christine was one of the most devastating events in my life. At first, it seemed like the end of the world, and that no good could possible come of it. But, we both kept our faith in God, and in the Divine we saw in ourselves and one another, and today, we remain the best of friends. This morning, we were trading notes on our new member classes, and the next set of those classes at both our churches will be better because of it. And our lives going forward will continue to be better because we are willing to live in faith, and do the work that is necessary.
And so it is with the life of our nation, and of our world today. The times call for action, but it must be action grounded in faith that is anchored in our sure and certain knowledge that God’s got it. If you’d like some ideas about how to take action, get with me, and let’s talk about it. And if your faith needs a boost, I know a really great place you can tithe...
In love and faith,