As Ye Give

The average mortal, when called upon to contribute to a charitable undertaking, usually consults his pocketbook or his bank account in order to determine the amount of his contribution, and he gives according to what he has materially. He reasons from the false premise that supply being material it is therefore limited, and his outstanding thought and purpose is to conserve his material resources and be prepared for the proverbial rainy day. This line of reasoning would be sound if matter were substance, but the teaching of Jesus and of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, shows us that matter is only a mental concept and an utterly perverted sense of substance, as is proved by the fact that material things are perishable. We have not yet reached the place where we may dispense with things material and temporal, but Jesus said that all these things would be added as a result to our seeking "first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." In other words, the only thing we really need is the true understanding of God, and this one thing will do the the right thing or will lead us to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way, and this right thinking and doing will externalize itself in a harmonious condition, socially, physically, and financially.

We shall look in vain for health, happiness, supply, or for anything worth while in matter, for they are not there; and to regulate our giving according to our receiving is the reverse of the teaching that "all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." When we give in the right spirit we shall find that the chief beneficiary of giving is the giver. One should not, however, give with the view of receiving something material in return, nor think of receiving in terms of matter, the effect of which would be to strengthen his belief in the reality of matter. In the Bible we find evidence of the fact that giving precedes receiving. In Malachi we read, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." The text does not say that God will pour out a blessing to enable one to bring in the tithes. The command is to bring in the tithes. On page 595 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy gives the metaphysical definition of tithe, two of the synonyms being "homage; gratitude."

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