Hint: Take out a piece of paper and pen and be ready to write some of your inspirations and thoughts from this section.
As devotees we have to understand that this Tithing Project gives us a great opportunity to turn to God and guru in our lives, and to demonstrate our faith and trust in Them. Yet, it’s not uncommon to have some resistance at first, and there are many uncomfortable scenarios that devotees face when the topic of tithing is addressed. Obviously, there is always one common element to all these situations: fear.
Fear is one element that can block us in our relationship with God and guru. The question that we should ask ourselves is, ‘Will I allow this fear to hold me back from fulfilling my commitment to Gurudev?’
By looking at the fear, we have to be ready to address the fear and make a conscious decision for ourselves whether we want to allow the fear to limit our relationship or whether we want to go beyond the limitations of that fear.
Here are some examples of fears a person may have that could block them from being able to tithe:
- FEAR – I am frightened that I will not have enough money to be able to tithe each month because I earn so little.
Firstly, abundance is not your responsibility. Abundance is the Divine Itself which can manifest in many ways. You may fear handing this over to God because of losing the safety of having things just the way they are. Are you willing to put this into the hands of God and guru and let Them provide a solution for you? Are you ready to be open for change?
- FEAR – I am afraid I would have to give up some other things I really like having! (e.g., my Netflix, my weekly massage, going to dinners out with friends).
When you make a commitment to tithing, you are really tapping into the practice of trust that you ARE supported in things that you really need, and this is something that you may not have had before. If you have the sincerity to give to God in this way, it’s surprising how much less power these other things will have over you.
- FEAR – I don’t want to tithe since my commitments to my family make it impossible to give each month. I’m afraid I won’t have enough.
Firstly what is impossible and what is possible? Having a satguru in your life is a miracle in and of itself and miracles are His department. It’s all about being willing to trust in your relationship with Him and make the commitment to Him.
Now the question is ‘Do you feel like you are having to choose between your family or your guru?’ You are NOT choosing between your family and your guru, but you are choosing to trust in a higher source for you and your family’s abundance and well-being. In light of this, we would invite you to reexamine the commitments that you have with your family and see if the element of trust in God’s abundance can be brought in somewhere. Perhaps you could share this concept of tithing with your family and see what they have to say in this matter. (Children can be particularly creative when inspired by a higher purpose!)
Many of us get comfortable and enjoy having certain pleasures in life that we may feel are too good to go without. In this sense when we look at our attachment to these, we have to also address emotionally or mentally: ‘What does this bring me? Would I be ready to let go of these with a view to focus on fulfilling Gurudev’s request for me to tithe. Where do I place my relationship with Gurudev – is it more important than my Netflix? Is it more valuable to me than my daily Starbucks coffee?’
Gurudev has not told you that you can’t drink coffee or watch TV, but He does want you to tithe every month. Do we find fulfilment living to our Gurudev’s request or would we rather avoid our responsibility because we want the little (or larger) luxuries in life. This is for you to honestly look at and to answer for yourself. What do you make your highest priorities?
- FEAR – I owe too much and have to pay my debts.
Perhaps you have created a plan to pay your debts in 1 year. Consider the idea of paying them off in 2 years instead, and then using the extra as a tithe every month.
The whole point is to look at your finances differently, more creatively, and allow new ideas to come based on your firm intention to give back to God in the form of the income that flows to you as a symbol of your trust in Him. That is what tithing stands for, and it can be done regardless of the situation. Like the devotee who owes hundreds of euros on his house and land…and yet he has decided he will pay less on it each month, so that he can give the difference each month as his tithe. Will it take him longer to pay off his house? Perhaps, but it opens the door for his trust in God to become a greater part of his daily experience. And who wouldn’t want to feel the presence of God closer and closer every day?!
- FEAR – My spouse won’t like this.
It’s important in a relationship to have some understanding about financial matters like this, especially when the financial responsibility is shared between a couple. Have a conversation about it; talk about the importance of fulfilling the Master’s instructions and using this method as a way to deepen one’s connection with God and guru. It might be that you come up with a way to use a special account or find creative solutions to downsize so that you are tithing on the money saved (which would be considered tithing on unexpected income). Perhaps you decide to do something extra outside your normal methods of gaining income, just so you can tithe. But the important thing is that you agree on some kind of method or boundaries to make it work.
- FEAR – What if I have health problems or my car breaks down or there is an emergency?
There always will be unexpected challenges that arise, it’s true. At the same time, it is the intention to tithe, and the trust in God to provide, that brings one to a deeper relationship with the Divine. It is in fact these very challenges that can show you how God can step in when you give Him room to do so. The results can be so much more than you ever imagined. Deal with the emergency as you must, but keep the intention to maintain your tithe despite the challenge!