When I began my first job, I made $1.25 an hour. I began a practice of giving a percentage to church and charity. I do not care to argue with anybody about it. I just want to testify that it pays. It pays in peace of mind and conscience, and it pays financially. I have never known a person to tithe who did not feel it was a great blessing to his or her life.
The basis of the large majority of our personal problems is selfishness and self-centeredness. I have talked to many people who were nervous, worried and afraid. Not in every case, but certainly in the majority of cases, what these people needed to do is lose themselves in something greater than themselves.
Many of the emotional wrecks today are people who have gone through life thinking and living selfishly. Do you know a selfish person who is really happy? Have you ever known a person who has consistently given to charity who regretted it or felt they had lost anything by it? I feel a bit sorry for the man who broke into one the churches where I served years ago. He went to considerable trouble to break into church to steal several chalices. The very act of burglarizing a church must have bothered him. It probably shamed him because two days later he returned the unharmed stolen items.
It may still bother him that he performed such an act. But if there is any comfort in knowing that there are others worse than he, I would like to point out to that fellow that there are thousands of people who would never think of burglarizing a church and would sentence him to a jail term, yet who are far guiltier of robbing than he is. At least, this man knows and admits his mistake. There are many self-righteous people who boast of their honesty but are much worse.
To fail to recognize our obligations and responsibilities to society is to be guilty of dishonesty. Not only do such people fail to do their part, but the greater tragedy is that they cheat themselves out of so much.
To prosper means that you not only possess something, but also that what you possess is a means to a higher and happier life. I recently read that in one year over 100 millionaires in America committed suicide. They got rich, but they did not prosper. The real pathway to prosperity is to find the spirit of giving back through generosity to others.