Charitable Giving as a Spiritual Practice

Do you give back to those around you? Do you perform works in service, or support organizations who help others?

How do you give back? And more importantly, why bother?

Charitable giving or tithing* is a practice that I resisted for a long time. I know a lot of folks don't see the value in it, and some don't feel that they have enough money to spare. In my own past, I never felt I had enough left over after paying the bills. But I've found out just how important giving is in order to keep the energy of love flowing in the world around me.

In Heaven, I learned some important lessons about the concepts of giving and I'll share them here. Giving back to others, in whatever way we can afford it, helps us keep our hearts open and connected to God. It can also help us strengthen our bonds to our fellow humans, and shore up the structures of our communities. Done with a freely open heart, giving back is a way that we can express love and compassion and kindness to each other, our world, and to Spirit. And one other thing you might have noticed: giving just simply feels good. I sometimes wonder if the good feelings that come from freely giving to others is Spirit's little built-in reward for being of service.

Giving to others could include giving money to support a charity, but Spirit doesn't want us to bankrupt ourselves either. If your financial bottom-line is tight and donating cash is out of the question, find a way to donate your time or expertise instead. God wants us to live beautiful, joy-filled lives of abundance and prosperity. But if giving cash to others will take food off your table, by all means, feed your family and yourself first. Then find a way to be of service that doesn't involve writing a check. Volunteering your time might be the most loving and long-lasting gift that you could give someone.

Instead of money, you can be of service by lending a hand to someone in need, such as helping an elderly neighbor shop for groceries, or raking leaves from his yard in the autumn. You can give of your time to a charitable organization, religious institution, or even medical center to help those less fortunate than you. And yes, you can donate money, too. Charitable organizations need both money and volunteers in order to survive. If you choose to help, give what you can.  Helping others in whatever way you can afford is just one method to increase the love, joy, happiness, or prosperity in the world around you.

If you want to supercharge your spiritual practice, and increase the love and goodwill in your community at the same time, try to find ways you can give back to others. You might be pleasantly surprised at how it opens your heart and connects you more strongly to love and light in those around you.

How do I personally give back? I donate 10% of my income to charities that I feel are doing Spirit's work. This might be a religious institution, but it could also be a non-profit that helps abused kids or trains service dogs for the disabled. Additionally, I donate books to select non-profits as I can afford it. I also give of my time and expertise to individuals, charities, and non-profits. 

* "Tithing" technically means giving a tenth of what you earn (or in agricultural times, what you grow) as an offering to God to support those who are in need.

All content copyright Nancy Rynes, 2014. Please read disclaimer and Legal Notes here.