We talk (and occasionally debate) a lot about the concept of tithing here at Unity. We consider tithing of time, talent AND treasure. I was recently thinking about the reasons why I seek ways to give of these gifts to my spiritual community. I have an awareness of the idea that “what I give returns to me in abundance”. But there’s more to it than that. So I wanted to take a moment to think about what each of these forms of giving mean as well as look at the gifts I receive in return.
TIME: Sometimes I feel like I have an overlap of giving of Time and Talent. This is because I am taking time to give of a particular skill I have. YET, there are areas in my life where I have opted to give of time to IMPROVE a skill I would LIKE to develop. I believe this is where I am giving and receiving at a peak level. This is what separates time from talent. THIS is where I feel the highest vibration to my giving.
One example of this was my fear of public speaking (notice the key word “was” J). My service on the Board of Trustees began my journey to overcoming this fear. I then moved to serving as a Platform Assistant. Both of these were very uncomfortable to me in the beginning and both giving opportunities provided great growth for me. I have received one of the greatest gifts I think you can receive through this form of giving. The gift of freedom from fear!
TALENT: This form of giving is, for me, the easiest and most fun. We all love to share what we are good at! Here is where we give for the joy of giving. If we are giving and feeling under-appreciated, we are doing it for the wrong reasons. We should be sharing our talents for the joy of supporting something we care about. For the sense of accomplishment we get from a job well done. For the love and pride we feel for our work. I give of my talent because it feels good to ME to support a friend, a cause or our community.
TREASURE: This one might feel tricky J. Here is the form of giving that can (for me) trigger my “lack” consciousness. How can I give of what I might feel might be in short supply? Well, the answer is in the question. If we want more of anything, give more of it. Prosperity classes have helped me to move through some of this “lack” consciousness. I’m not completely there yet, but I continue to work on it.
What is “lack” consciousness? To me it is the idea that there isn’t enough. The idea that I am giving of something that is not abundant. Fear that if I give it, I won’t have enough. As I look at the other forms of giving and what they have meant to me I wonder why Treasure feels different. When I gave of Time I received freedom. When I gave of Talent I received joy, love, pride.
What are the gifts of giving Treasure? Well, when I give treasure with fear, I FEEL anxiety. When I give treasure with love, appreciation and generosity, I FEEL free, grateful and abundant. So I guess it’s more in the HOW I give that I receive. I choose to give that I may receive with faith that the gift is in the giving. And so it is, amen.
By Mary Loughman