When I read Charles Fillmore’s book, Prosperity, 44 years ago, I was a single parent working two jobs, 16 hours a day, just getting by, putting up with, scrounging in the sofa for pennies, and living from paycheck to paycheck.
I really did not want much: just enough food to feed my child a decent meal every day, a little extra for fun activities for us both, and a car that knew the meaning of a round trip.
In his masterpiece of a book, Fillmore suggests that if just one individual would live and teach these Unity principles, these powerful prosperity laws, that one person would lift the consciousness of all humankind. Even with holes in my shoes at that time, I looked carefully at my life and realized that I had nothing better to do, so I said to myself, “I’ll be that person.”
Unity has given me a firm foundation of Truth principles on which I have built my life. I am forever grateful for the wisdom of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and the distillation of Truth principles in a way that I could grasp, hang on to, push through fear to come into alignment with, and to stand on firmly, at least most of the time, God’s very clear promises.
Willingness to Change
I began to change my thinking, feeling and action with trepidation and really did not know for sure what I was doing. There was no Unity church in my small East Texas community. I drove to Houston every couple of months to hear Rev John Rankin at the Unity community there. He was amazing to me. I was astounded to realize that people really lived and believed these powerful teachings.
Even though, at first, I was completely resistant to tithing, I did start writing and saying affirmations, and reading every single Catherine Ponder book I could find in the various libraries. When I read in Prosperity that when one begins to tithe, his or her faith is increased 100-fold, I was inspired to look up every scripture in the Bible on tithing. When I came to Malachi 3:10, my resistance broke and I became willing to “put God to the test,” as the Living Bible translates the “prove me now” section of the “bring you all the tithes into the storehouse” verse.
Over the years of teaching the tithing principle to all who will hear me, I have heard all my old resistances mirrored back to me.
It’s an Old Testament law, God doesn’t need my money, it’s a trick to get my money and they are not going to get it ‘cause I am smarter than they are, there’s no way I could pay all my bills if I were to tithe, it just does not fit into my budget, I’d rather give my extra money to charity.
People hear the word prosperity and assume this is going to be a conversation only about money. Prosperity, for me, is a vitally alive physical body for this God-being that we are to express through; relationships that are honest, intimate, nurturing and that work all the time; work that we love so much it is not work but play; and, of course, all the money we can spend.
My experience is that when I tithe, forgive, set clear-cut tangible goals, and get on purpose with my life, the promise of Malachi 3:10 comes true for me and the windows of heaven open and pour me out blessings so beautiful, so rich, so joyous that there is always enough to spare and to share with my world.
Stepping into Tithing
So, back to the beginning when I first began to tithe, I chose to believe or at least act as if I believed the promise and I made a commitment to tithe for six months. The first three months, nothing much happened in my outer world. We did eat, the electric company did not turn off my electricity, and I did a lot of affirmations and denials, such as, “Creditors can’t eat me! Creditors can’t eat me!”
In the inner world, however, my faith began to grow and I was guided to open my first business with a $2.75 classified ad. My phone rang off the wall and I began to prosper after 3 months so much that I found that my income was doubled.
At the end of six months my income had tripled. And I was off and running with an excitement and passion for Truth and for life. I don’t pretend that it was all smooth sailing. Yes, there were many challenges to my faith—with ego, with courage, with self-questioning, with relationships, with wanting always to be right and self-important, and with forgiveness of myself and others.
As I continued as quickly as I could at the time to “take everything to God in prayer,” use affirmations, read and reread the teachings of the masters, humble myself, ask for forgiveness and give it, walk more “gently” through my world, learning a deeper and deeper compassion for myself and others, life became more and more beautiful.
Today I have a lovely 30-acre retreat center, Rock Ridge Retreat Center, in Valley Head, Alabama. Each year for the past several years, I have offered a free retreat for ministers who are actively leading a congregation.
In closing, may I point out a teaching or two of Mr Fillmore that are sometimes overlooked?
“Desire is the onward impulse of the ever evolving soul.” This says to me that our desires are holy and implanted in us by God to lead us along our pathway.
And finally, he suggests that the secret of demonstration is “right identification.” Who are you? Your answer to this tells the universe how to behold you, to treat you, to bring to you all the good you are willing to receive.
Here is how I identify you:
You are the living light of the loving God and your light is lifting the consciousness of all humankind!