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What Every Spiritual Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Tithing

Over the next six weeks, we’re going to look at the four spiritual laws of prosperity. Edwene Gaines’ book, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, will guide our conversation. Today’s subject: tithing.

Edwene was one of the first prosperity teachers I learned from. She’d come to a Panorama of Truth (UFBL’s Annual Summer Conference) to speak. I instantly fell in love with her. On my journey to becoming a tither, I held on to Edwene’s story of tithing even when she couldn’t pay for basic necessities. Her story inspired me and enabled me to persevere.

Master Money…

…or money will master you.

Many people “struggle with conflicting issues of morality and money” (Gaines). Resolve to leave behind in 2017 all your money issues. Let this year-end conversation on prosperity help you get right around money. We want to develop the right financial psychology so that we invite money into our lives instead of chasing it away.

Often push money away with a negative of someone we perceive to have money. For example, we may remark that “Tom has become a lot more greedy now that he has a little money.” Or, “Susie seemed to turn a corner when money came into her life.”

So we never take the actions that would bring money into our lives or we sabotage efforts that might bring us money because, God forbid, we become like Tom or Susie. Be resolved that money does not make you greedy. And, money cannot corrupt you. Money reveals the character that poverty covered up.

Accept Desire…

…or you will find yourself constantly at war within yourself. We are hardwired to desire more than we already have. Human beings are curious be nature. In a healthy environment, we are taught to honor those desires and learn how to satisfy them in ways that do not harm others and do not cause long-term damage to ourselves.

In unhealthy environments, we learn to hide those desires, pretend like they do not exist, or worse, judge ourselves dirty or sinful because of those desires.

“God wants us to do more, to have more, to play big. God doesn’t want us to deny our desires. After all, God put those desires in us, and we must celebrate them! Life is not about struggling, and being unhappy, and then dying” (Gaines).

Are you open to the idea that desire is good? Would you be open to learning how to respond to your desires in spiritually healthy ways?

Yes?!

Then keep reading.

Poverty Is Not a Virtue

And, poverty does not bring you closer to God. “If poverty is so great, why is a fundamental goal of the major religions to eradicate it?” (Gaines)

To Edwene’s question, I add the suggestion to study nature. Whenever God gets an opportunity to show up unhindered by humankind, He shows up in lavish abundance.

Lack is human-supported condition that falls away when a consciousness that can accept more enters the picture. I agree with Edwene: “I believe my loving God wants more for me in life than just a miserable existence where I don’t know how I’m going to put food on the table.”

Poor people are not closer to God; and rich people are not further away. Only those who consciously commune with God, no matter where they fall along the financial spectrum, are close to God. It is true that there are people so distracted by their outer wealth, they have no clue about the vast resources that lie within themselves.

But it is also true that there are people distracted by what they do not have and what they cannot pay for. They feel like life is too burdensome for them to look within to the vast resources within themselves. Both groups are spiritually poor, “and will be living in constant physical poverty.”

Ask, Seek, Knock…

Your request starts the process of moving what you want from the invisible into the visible. What you want already exists in potential. As potential good, your desire is invisible. It lacks form. It has no texture and no mass. But the moment you ask for it…the moment you seek it…the moment you begin to knock on doors in expectation of it, it takes on all the qualities of physical expression.

“God is not glorified by poverty. God is not glorified by illness. God is not glorified when you feel guilty or unworthy. God is not glorified when you run around playing victim” (Gaines). Jesus encouraged us to ask, seek and knock because God is glorified through us bringing our creations into expression.

The Power of Affirmations

Affirmations make firm in your mind that you can have the good you want. “When you make a positive statement with conviction, you open up a space in your life for that good to appear” (Gaines).

You already make affirmative statements. Everyday…all day…we have an inner running dialogue that many people do not even notice.

If you lack the money you want, you can be certain that your inner dialogue is working against you. We each have (or don’t have) according to the inner conversations we entertain.

Affirmations — spoken, written or held silently — interrupt the inner dialogue and allow some new conversation tracks to be laid down. Edwene recommends that we “write them out, and then speak them aloud three times a day for 21 days. And, as you’re speaking the words, don’t mumble! Speak them with power, from your solar plexus. Say the affirmations as if you absolutely believe it, without a trace of doubt” (Gaines).

To her suggestion, I will add playing some awesome background music! I’ve been doing my morning affirmations with a movie soundtrack in the background. Two words: Pure! Fire!

Tithe Means Tenth

A tithe is a tenth…not a fifth…or an eighth…If the gift is not a tenth, then it’s not a tithe.

Does that clear up the question?

Gross or net?

Gross.

Tithing works the law of giving and receiving. You do not tithe to support your church or some other entity. You tithe because working with spiritual law changes you at depth. Every gift creates a new impression in your subconscious mind that you have something to give.

Your church benefits from your gift but your church is not the reason you give. You give because you are a part of the universe and you operate in cooperation with the spiritual laws that govern the universe.

Your tithing does not cause something magical to happen. Your tithe, given consistently, allows you to systematically activate the law of giving and receiving. Every gift not only impresses your own subconscious mind but also sets in a motion an infallible law that must bring you a good result in accord with your gift.

Start With Unexpected Money

When you give without believing that tithing works, you close up the very portal you opened with your gift. We each receive in this universe according to our belief. We do not simply want to give big; we must also believe big.

Learn to build your belief that tithing works.

Start with unexpected money. Keep track of every sum that comes in above your regular pay. Even if you find a dime on the street, record it. And, when it’s time to give, make a tithe on everything that’s come in above your regular pay.

As you tithe on monies above and beyond what you normally expect, you still work the law of giving and receiving and you give yourself a chance to consciously observe God at work in your finances.

Spot Abundance Everywhere

Not only must we build our belief in the law of tithing but we must also build our belief in an abundant universe. Edwene shares the story of quitting her second job to start a PR company. She told her boss that she was quitting and he advised her to “be smart” because she had a child to raise.

She told him that she had a “wealthy father.” He, of course, thought she was referring to her biological father. In fact, she was referring to God.

Often, the good we seek can be held up because we do not believe in the lavish abundance of the universe. Or perhaps we see lavish abundance but we cannot fathom it as a part of our lives.

In this instance, we must collapse the distance between us and the good we seek. I often turn to nature to make this kind of impression on my mind. I think about the abundance of leaves on the trees in my neighborhood. I think about the grains of sand at the beach. I also consider the trillions of cells my body sheds each day and the trillions that are added back daily.

I remind myself that God withholds nothing from anyone or anything. Each of us may participate in the good of the universe according to the good desires of our hearts. (I say “good desires” because what is good for us does not harm another or our environment.)

Give Tithing a Chance to Work

Nothing in this universe happens overnight. Everything follows the seed/harvest process. The first tithe you make sets in motion the law of giving and receiving but it does not cancel out all the other seeds you’ve sown before you tithed consistently.

So, give the process time. However you decide to give, give tithing a chance to work. If you’ve had a lifetime of not giving or giving sparingly, then at least give God six months to show you something different.

As Edwene asks, “what do you have to lose? You haven’t been tithing so far, and you haven’t been doing brilliantly, have you? Don’t you want a life of riches and prosperity? At least be open-minded and willing to give tithing a try. Make a six-month contract with God…You have nothing to lose, and absolutely everything to gain.”

Spiritual Entrepreneur’s Guide to Self-Transformation

Every Spiritual Entrepreneur must surrender to the process of self-transformation. There is no lasting success without it. We have covered the topic of Universal Law extensively and how it applies to your transformation as a business owner. This post and tonight’s Bible Hangout represents the conclusion of our discussion on Universal Law.

The whole point of Universal Law is to assist you in the transformation of who you are today into who you must be to fulfill the divine call on your life as a Spiritual Entrepreneur. It matters not that you operate a business that is as far away from something spiritual as one can get. Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur means recognizing that when something claims the majority of your waking hours as most businesses do, then that something must do more than supply you with cash; it must also nourish your spirit.

The final chapter in Bruce McArthur’s seminal book, Your Life, advises us to be the law. First, we learn the law; then we live the law; and, as we live the law, we become the law. Becoming the law requires us to undergo a self-transformation. In order to release that which lies within us, we must be willing for our lives to become unrecognizable.

Are you willing to change so thoroughly that who you become will be unrecognizable to the person you are today? Are you willing to radically shift the way you think and the way you feel in order to have what others think belongs to the elite few?

Radical Self-Transformation is Possible

Let me tell you what I mean by “radical self-transformation.”

All of life is the process of becoming. In truth, you don’t have to “become” anything. You are fine just as you are.

And yet, there are gifts and talents unknown that lie within you. They are dormant. Their only pathway to physical expression rests in your transformation. And, no one can transform you but you.

If you do not surrender and then commit to the process of self-transformation, it shall not happen for you. No one can read the books you must read to awaken the parts of you that lie dormant right now. No one can go through the experiences you must go through to learn the lessons that will shape you.

People can tell you what to think and how to feel but they cannot think or feel for you. That is why all transformation, as far as your life is concerned, is self-transformation.Self-transformation - Proof of the Truth

The giants of history prove what is possible. Earlier this month, my spiritual mother, Rev. Dr. Della Reese Lett, made her transition. I know that radical self-transformation is possible because you do not go from the slums of Detroit, Michigan to the top of Bel Air Road in one of LA’s poshest neighborhoods without going through a radical self-transformation.

Through her ministry at UP Church, she taught us how to do the same.

Self-Transformation Step #1: Learn the Law

Bruce McArthur lays out a simple 3-step process to self-transformation. Step one: Learn the Law. You’d be surprised how many people fight the idea of universal law. Perhaps they resist the idea that our universe is one of laws because they associate spiritual law with the laws of humankind.

To learn the law “does not mean you must memorize or be able to quote the laws. It means: know that there are laws! Knowing this, you have already taken steps to incorporate the principles into your life by setting your purposes and ideals in accord with the laws” (McArthur).

I always look back to nature as a guide. I remind myself that just as every flower requires a seed to be born into expression, every experience I desire requires a seed in order to be born into expression. When I feel frustrated with my results in a particular area, I remind myself of the seed/harvest cycle that must take place in order for my desired expression to come forth.

When you endeavor to learn the law, your prayer changes. You no longer ask for things but rather for the seeds to create the life you want. Give me the seeds that produce health, wealth and happiness in all forms.

The seeds are all around me. They’re in my hands right now. The reason self-transformation is so important and so powerful is that my transformation allows me to see what is already present and do something with it.

Self-Transformation Step #2: Live the Law

Knowing the law or knowing that there is a law is one step. Now, I must live the law. I recognize that every thought I think, every feeling I entertain, sows a seed in the soil of my consciousness. And, as God is forever faithful to the physical seeds of the earth, He is also faithful to the seeds of my mind and your mind and every other mind that thinks and feels.

I do not simply want to recite the law of giving and receiving. I want to actually give and receive. Let me not be satisfied to know that there is a law of compensation; instead, let me work that law of compensation to bring me the fruit that I desire to see expressed in my life.

Here’s where the self-transformation really takes off. I may be changed a little bit by knowing that there are universal laws. But as I endeavor to live in accord with those laws, I change at my core.

For example, the seed of money is helping people. I draw money into my life just to the degree that I help people. So, if I want more money, then I must help more people.

Most of us have a ceiling on how far we’re willing to go to help others. We have been cautioned by well-meaning parents and friends on over-extending ourselves. Getting personally involved is one way to help others. That’s one type of money seed you can sow.

Another type of money seed you can sow is to create something — a book, a play, a widget — that helps people without you being present. For example, the episodes of Touched By An Angel starring Rev. Della continue to bless people even after she has left this earth plane.

Self-Transformation Step #3: Be the Law

As you live the law, you cannot help but to become the law. As you discipline yourself to think and feel in accord with God’s law, you change and you change at your core.

Being the law accords you a freedom that escapes most people. “We have long regarded freedom as being free of something. But freedom, in its broadest sense, is a much greater state in which all things are possible to you. The key to true freedom is living the Universal Laws in the highest way” (McArthur).

We all admire high achievers — people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Folorunsho Alakiija. But we often do not learn about these people until they have mastered being the law. Unless we know them personally and have had the privilege of seeing them push through the process of learning the law and living the law, we tend to dismiss them as exceptional.

Occasionally we get a glimpse into the life of a high achiever, but more often than not, we learn about their “back story” only after they’ve ascended to the heights that made us admire them in the first place.

Being law means much more than simply complying with universal law. “It involves making yourself one with the purpose of the Universe,” which is absolute good. Take time to examine your motives and purposes and your ideals. Release the fears, doubts, and animosities of life so that you dissolve your selfish self.

Your Purpose: Fulfill the Law

The scripture that we used to guide this conversation on universal law comes from Matthew: Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

As you become the law, you fulfill the law. You become the manifestation of love that God designed you to be, for the law is love.

“Learn the law; live the law; be the law and you will fulfill the law, and you will transform your life. This is the work of self-transformation” (McArthur).

Your task is simple. Recognize that there are universal laws that govern your and my existence. Endeavor to comply with those laws. Allow yourself to be changed for the better. Let better thoughts and feelings come from you. As you do, you will become the law. As you become the law, you fulfill it.

The Spiritual Entrepreneur’s Guide to Achieving Balance

The Real Issue is Balance

Can we talk about having it all? Where did that concept come from? So many people run themselves into the ground trying to have it all.

As a spiritual being — divine in origin — you actually already have it all. Much of it lies in potential and, to the degree that you can have it in your thoughts and feelings, it can be yours in your physical experience.

Everything comes into expression via Law. All experiences in your life begin as a seed planted and nurtured in mind. When the time is right, that seed sprouts and becomes your experience.

What we need is the consciousness that supports having it all, and that consciousness is one of balance.

What is Balance?

“Balance is a state of equilibrium — of health on the physical level, fulfillment on the mental level, and joyousness on the spiritual level. Balance is handling all the aspects of life in a way that results in the greatest good for you and for others” (McArthur). In a balanced consciousness, there are no losers. Life does not reduce to a zero sum game of winners and losers.

If you can wrap your head around a Creator that creates no losing experiences because Its nature is love, then may you can also buy into the idea that winning in life is not the luck of the draw but rather by divine design.

Why is Balance Important?

Balance optimizes you for success. “Without dynamic balance, we don’t have the essential ingredient for transformation and we cannot achieve the purpose for which we came in the present experience” (McArthur).

Consider a washing machine. The washing machine in your home works just to the degree that its load remains balanced. If the load gets off balance, the machine has a fail-safe to turn off because it cannot go any further with the wash cycle. In order for the machine to resume normal functioning, the load must be readjusted. Once you put everything back into a balanced state, you can use the machine again and expect it to function normally.

The same principle applies to us. When we are off balanced internally, everything gets thrown off and we do not function properly. For example, “when we become ill…the illness can completely disrupt our work, our family life, our recreation, or any other activity or interest we may have. When we create such conditions, it is a cry from our hearts for greater balance in our lives” (McArthur).

What is the Law of Balance?

McArthur explains that “the law of balance is founded on the fundamental nature of the universe: love. It provides that all interactions within the universe are equal exchanges.” And, the law of balance is that “all exchanges balance.”

That balance can happen at  the point of exchange or it can happen after an exchange is made that wasn’t balanced. He explains “any exchange that you make is balanced when what you give is equal to or greater than what you receive. If you give less than you receive, there is an imbalance which remains; by this law you will eventually have to face that imbalance and deal with it.”

“The criterion for balance does not involve the other person’s view or opinion. It is personal.” So, of course, I wanted to know: “If value is determined by me, can’t I just overrate what I give and underrate what others give me?” I mean, if the Universe eventually balances all exchanges, why do I need to both with making sure the exchange is balanced?”

The reason why is that the imbalance shows up in your body, in your world, in your affairs. “No matter how the interchange may be made, you will know subconsciously, if not consciously, whether you met the criterion of giving in equal measure to what you receive” (McArthur).

In short, you get away with nothing. You can pay now or you can pay later. The imbalance is something internally perceived by and impacts only you.

Workshop to Establish Inner Balance

In tonight’s Bible Hangout, we will work through a process for achieving inner balance through self analysis. I will give you seven tools (taken from Your Life) to help you determine where you may be out of balance and what you can do about it.

Tool #1: Self Analysis

One of the fastest ways to understand whether we’re in balance is to examine our health — our physical health, our financial health, and our relational health. When you consider the broad categories of health, wealth, and happiness, how do you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = Help!; 10 = I Got This!)?

Here’s what you can do to look at your world and identify areas for improvement:

  1. Make a list of everything you do in a day and throughout a month, from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep at night.
  2. Study each item on your list and ask yourself some important questions: Why am I doing this? How do I feel about it? Does it give me a lift, or a pain, a headache, a peaceful feeling, or a knot in the belly? Wherever you find a point of tension such as pain, unhappiness, fear, or anger, know that you are looking at an imbalance.
  3. Make a clear, easy to execute action plan to resolve the areas of tension you identify.

Tool #2: Time and Balance

When we find ourselves overwhelmed, it can be challenging to push ourselves to make a schedule. But you need one. When you create a time budget, you insure that no important aspect of your life gets overlooked or neglected. You have seven key areas to consider:

  • Work and associated aspects
  • Play — mental and physical recreation
  • Development of mental and physical abilities
  • Eating
  • Rest, relaxation, recuperation, and sleep
  • Social activities
  • Spiritual activities and meditation, study and time for self
  1. Take the list of items from Tool #1 and turn it into a Time Budget.
  2. Now categorize the activities listed according to the seven categories listed above.
  3. Now look at your time budget and let’s consider the things that cannot be overlooked because they keep order in your world. Do you have time schedule for activities that keep the mind and body alert and in harmony with your ideals? Have you scheduled time to keep up your home? Have you built in time to express gratitude for your life? What are your outlets for giving in service to others? And, what about those necessary things like grocery shopping and running errands?

Tool #3: Balancing the Spiritual, Mental, and Physical

McArthur advises that we “keep an equal balance in the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the body-functioning…For, every phase of the physical, mental and spiritual life is dependent upon the other. They are one…”

You may want to get some colored pens or highlighters for this tool.

  1. Assign a color to each area — for example, blue = spiritual, pink = mental, yellow = physical.
  2. Now go through your time budget and shade in the areas according to their categories.
  3. Look for areas of your day that can serve a dual purpose. For example, if you find that you simply cannot fit a workout into your day, can you perhaps adjust your work environment and use a standing desk? Or, if you work in an environment that you do not find uplifting, can you turn that experience into your spiritual classroom where you meet negativity with love?

“It is equally easy to become a mental giant, but a spiritual and physical pygmy, or a physical giant and a mental and spiritual pygmy. Balancing the spiritual, mental, and physical does not mean they must have equal time, rather each must be given equal emphasis. This means you don’t neglect one for another” (McArthur).

Tool #4: Keep Your Activities in Accord With Your Purpose and Mission

You’ll want to revisit the Circular Ideals Chart we completed last week and the Life Purpose Statement we completed the previous week. “Dynamic balance is only achieved through effective use of: 1) your life’s purpose, 2) your ideals, and 3) spiritual guidance in your life.

You can check how well you are doing in achieving balance by reviewing your weekly activities and asking these questions about each activity:

  1. Is this activity in accord with or contributing to achievement of my purpose?
  2. In this activity are my thoughts and attitudes, words and acts in accord with my spiritual, mental, and physical ideals?
  3. Is this activity in accord with my spiritual guidance?

If you can answer “yes” to those three questions, you have made a team of your spirit, mind, and body; they are coordinated and cooperative. If you cannot answer “yes,” you have changes to make for a better balance.”

Tool #5: Flexibility

No day goes exactly according to plan. So, allow for unexpected interruptions. Always remember that you’re on an adventure with God and your title is “Co-Pilot.” The “Pilot” position is forever taken by God.

Here are McArthur’s suggestions to remain flexible throughout your day:

  1. Begin with whatever plan you’ve already made for the day.
  2. As soon as you hit a glitch, an obstacle, a problem, an irritation, or whatever derails your plan, be aware that you’ve just tripped over one of the threads in the weavings of Spirit.
  3. Allow your awareness (body, mind, and spirit) to rest lightly on this glitch and see what comes to you. If something does, take it up at once and go where it leads. Never argue with yourself about it.
  4. When you come to a stopping point, pick up your original plan and go on until another anomalous thing manifests itself. Then follow it. And so on.

Tool #6: Moderation; Avoid Excess

By human standards, success pertains to the car you drive, the house you live in and the watch you wear on your wrist. But once you get the car, within a year, it’s just a car. Once you purchase the big house, after a year or two, it’s just a house. And, the watch…within six months, it’s just another watch.

Novelty wears off.

Include in your definition of success a well-rounded balance with moderation in all you do and in all your relationships. McArthur suggests that “the well-rounded aspect of balance includes having the ability to play as well as work, to relax as well as to drive yourself, and to be appreciative of the finer aspects of life as well as of material success.”

The number one regret of the dying is that they never learned to live. When you look back over your life, you will find a collection of moments and the emotions associated with those moments. “To achieve success in anything at the expense of your body, your mind, your home, your marriage, or your relation to Spirit will prevent you from achieving true contentment, an inherent spiritual need and desire of every person” (McArthur).

Tool #7: Stability

Mind your own spiritual business! “Do not allow discouraging and disorderly events in others’ lives to disturb your equilibrium. Their problems are not yours unless you choose to make them so…Balance creates stability. If you react to a friend’s difficulties by being angry or sad, you are allowing outside forces to affect your stability. That’s not helpful to you or to your friend” (McArthur).

Keep your mental peace. “When someone criticizes you, instead of feeling angry you can try to keep your sense of balance…Remember, if people are angry with you, that’s their problem, not yours. Don’t make it yours by becoming emotionally involved. Look at it from a balanced and stable state. You then can more readily find the true message the Universe is sending you. Nothing happens by chance, so there is something there for you, generally different than the angry words indicate” (McArthur).

The Spiritual Entrepreneur’s Guide to Setting High Ideals

Last week, we focused on identifying our life’s purpose. This week, we concentrate on setting high ideals. From the Spiritual Entrepreneur’s perspective, we want to set our ideals in alignment with Spirit (or the Universe).

Let’s begin with a definition of ideals. As a noun, the word ideal refers to a person or thing that you regard as perfect. For example, you might say of someone you love, “You’re my ideal of how a man (or woman) should be.” Other words that can be substituted for the word ideal include: perfection, paragon, epitome, shining example.

When I first read this chapter in Bruce McArthur’s Your Life, I felt immediate resistance to the idea of perfection. How many people live highly unsatisfying lives attempting to live up to some unrealistic standard? In fact, when I first read through the chapter, I remembered a meme someone posted about women who insist upon “waiting for Mr. Right.”Setting High Ideals

The last thing I want to become in my business is the person for whom nothing is ever good enough.

A Holistic Approach to Working With High Ideals

McArthur says, “One of the most important steps in beginning to transform your life is to establish your ideals, then work diligently to achieve them. Your ideals set standards for you, and they are excellent guides for choices which can transform your life.”

Let me tell you why this matters:

Ideals provide a guide for changing our thinking. In the absence of an ideal, we show up for life as the person we have always been, which means we end up with the same stuff we’ve always gotten.

To build a new life and a better business, we have to change the way we routinely think and feel every day. Otherwise, as we continue along the same thought and feeling patterns we’ve always had, we create the same sets of circumstances that we wish to be free of.

By definition, our ideal will always be greater than we are today because it’s an ideal. The way we avoid the quest for perfection and adopt a holistic approach to setting high ideals is to stop reaching for the ideal. Instead, we must learn to think and act from that high place in consciousness.

Sound like semantics? Maybe. But go with me a for a second.

Everything in your business — the way you acquire new business, the way you send out invoices, how you respond to setbacks and challenges, the people you interact with on a daily basis — continually remind you of where you are in business. And, you…we…tend to think equal to our present circumstances. Unless we adopt a better way of thinking, we can expect to keep the same circumstances in play.

Only when we endeavor to think better than our present circumstances can we expect better results.

Everyone Has a Set of Ideals that Guide Them

Listen to what McArthur says ideals do for you:

  1. Your ideals are the standard by which you make your choices. They are like a road map which you use to guide you to your destination.
  2. Your ideals set the attitudes by which you live.
  3. Your ideals determine the path and the direction in which you are moving in consciousness.
  4. Your ideals determine what and whom you attract to you as you put them into effect.
  5. Your ideals provide the balancing tie among, body, mind, and soul. Through them you coordinate the Spirit within, the mind, and your physical aspects.

Now, you may not know what set of ideals you are working from. But, in reality, everyone has ideals. Today, we will take time to consciously set ideals for the major areas in our lives. Join me tonight for the Bible Hangout for a LIVE demonstration of the material covered in today’s blog post.

Setting High Ideals Takes You Off Cruise Control

For many people, their ideals are equal to or lower than their present circumstances. When they speak about their lives, they talk about being on cruise control or perhaps being in a rut. Thinking and acting from a set of high ideals takes you off cruise control and pulls you out of any rut you may find yourself in.

A high ideal will help you change your mindset, which, of course, can shift your life for the better. Very often in our businesses, we hit a wall and do not know which way to go. Or, we have multiple directions that we can take and each direction seems equally good. Ideals act as a guide for those kinds of decisions.

When you carry high ideals you can be a positive influence on the people around you. I think about the spiritual ideal that Rev. Della held for herself and represented for our church. I remember when she daringly took on CBS to demand the same pay that the other stars of Touched By An Angel were receiving. Guided by her ideals, she took a stand for what she believed was right and ultimately received the level of money that she felt she was worth.

Here’s an example from a wonderful book I just read of letting someone with a higher ideal challenge you to come out of your comfort zone:

The thing about comfort zones…if you live in one for too long, that becomes your norm.” David Goggins

A Gentle Approach to Setting High Ideals

No, you do not have to have a Navy SEAL move in with you to raise your ideals a little higher. 🙂

McArthur offers a much more, shall we say, measured approach to establishing high ideals. And, it’s the one we will use for our conversation tonight during the Bible Hangout.

Rev. Sherri Note: All the material that follows is copied directly from Chapter 16 in Bruce McArthur’s Your Life: Why It Is the Way It Is. You will need multiple copies of the Blank Circular Ideals Chart. You will also need a pen or pencil to complete the chart as we go.

Step #1 Selection of Your Area of Focus

A. Select from the following list an area of your life that you would like to make more joyous or choose one of your own:

  • Spouse
  • Self
  • Children
  • Job
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Spiritual Growth
  • A Relative
  • Recreation
  • Social Life
  • Family
  • Time
  • School
  • Church
  • Education
Circular Ideals Chart

Circular Ideals Chart with Quadrant #1 Filled In

B. When you have selected the area, write it on the Circular Ideals Chart on the line marked #1 in Quadrant A (see image).

C. Your ideals for this area of your life will be entered on this upper right-hand quadrant of the chart.

Step #2: Selection of Your Spiritual Ideal

A. Study the following “fruits” or “seeds” of the Spirit, any one of which would make an excellent spiritual ideal:

  • Love
  • Truth
  • Hope
  • Persistence
  • Patience
  • Faith
  • Goodness
  • Contentment
  • Mercy
  • Gentleness
  • Kindness
  • Self-control
  • Brotherly love
  • Fellowship
  • Consistency in Acts and Speech
  • Forgiveness
  • Meekness
  • Peace
  • Obedience
  • Humbleness
  • Harmony
  • Understanding
  • Selflessness
  • Joy

B. To make your selection, use either option 1 or 2 below — whichever feels right to you:Circular Ideals Chart

Option 1. After a period of meditation, turn inward and search in your mind for the most joyous, fulfilling spiritual experience you have ever known. This might have been a conversation with someone, a dream, a vision, something you have read that was meaningful to you, or another form of experience. Review it in your mind, trying to experience its essence, and describe it in one word or short phrase. This will be your spiritual ideal. Write it on the Circular Ideals Chart in the center circle labeled SPIRITUAL IDEAL (see example).

Option 2. To select your spiritual ideal, attune yourself in whatever way works best for you and use your preferred method of obtaining guidance. Ask what your ideal should be, or select from the list above. When you have found or selected it, write it on the Circular Ideals Chart in the center circle labeled SPIRITUAL IDEAL (see example).

Step #3: Selection of Mental Ideals

A. The mental ideal you are about to select is for application in that area of your life that you wish to make more joyous. This is the area your selected in Step 1 and marked on line #1.

B. The mental ideal is a “be”-attitude, the attitude you will hold in this area of your life. It needs to be in accord with your spiritual ideal. It is as if the spiritual ideal actually flows into the mental attitudes or emotions and together they produce the mental ideal.

C. Therefore, ask yourself: “What ‘be-attitude,’ what attitude of ‘be’-ing, should I hold and use that is in accord with my spiritual ideal and will make this area of my life joyous?”

Some possible suggestions:

  • BE-loving
  • BE-self-controlled
  • BE-hopeful
  • BE-gentle
  • BE-brotherly love
  • BE-persistent
  • BE-kind
  • BE-merciful
  • BE-truthful
  • BE-content
  • BE-positive
  • BE-good
  • BE-joyous
  • BE-meek
  • BE-peaceful
  • BE-humble
  • BE-confident
  • BE-trustful
  • BE-one
  • Circular Ideals ChartBE-understanding
  • BE-appreciative
  • BE-harmonious
  • BE-constructive
  • BE-generous (giving)
  • BE-encouraging
  • BE-happy
  • BE-moderate
  • BE-sincere
  • BE-compassionate
  • BE-temperate
  • BE-faithful
  • BE-selfless
  • BE-thoughtful
  • BE-tolerant
  • BE-cooperative
  • BE-forgiving
  • BE-disciplined
  • BE-honest
  • BE-a servant
  • BE-just
  • BE-graceful

D. You may wish to select more than one of the above or ones of your own choosing. Enter your choices on the ideals chart in the section of the circle in Quadrant A marked MENTAL IDEALS (see example).

Step #4: Selection of Physical Ideals

A. Your physical ideals are what you will be “do”-ing to bring into expression/manifestation on the physical plane the spiritual and mental ideals you have set for this area of your life.

B. The physical ideals can be expressed through the ways in which you use various aspects of your physical body or your possessions. For example, ask yourself, “How can I use my ears to manifest my mental ideal of being cooperative?” Your answer might be: “Listen to Jane.” That would then be one of your physical ideals. You may wish to select several for each area of your life.

  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Car
  • Money
  • Voice
  • Sharing know-how
  • Sharing possessions
  • Sharing facilities
  • Furniture
  • Recipes
  • Clothes
  • Energy
  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • House
  • Face
  • ToolsCircular Ideals Chart
  • Food
  • Sex
  • Words
  • Song
  • Time
  • Arms
  • Effort

C. As you make your selections, write them in the section of the circle marked PHYSICAL IDEALS in Quadrant A.

Step #5: Completion of Ideals Chart

Return to Step 1 and select another area of your life you wish to make more joyous. Enter this on line #2 in Quadrant B.

Skip Step #2 — The spiritual ideal you have selected applies to all areas of your life.

Do Step 3 and Step 4 for this same area of your life.

Repeat this procedure for as many areas of your life for which you wish to set ideals.

To be effective you need to review your ideals daily, to make them a part of your consciousness. Work with each, trying to achieve it. As you achieve each ideal, you will need to change or modify it. Your ideals should grow with you.

A Tip for Setting High Ideals That Help You Break the Habit of Being You

I borrow that heading from Dr. Joe Dispenza’s groundbreaking book, Breaking the Habit of Being You. He explains the value of high ideals this way:

If you want to change, you must have in your thoughts an idealized self — a model that you can emulate, which is different from, and better than, the “you” that exists today in your particular environment, body, and time. Every great person in history knew to do this…

The only way out of where you are is to break the habit of showing up the way you have always shown up. Establishing high ideals gives you the best chance of re-wiring your consciousness and establishing a new you.

This kind of work is not easy because it’s far more comfortable to slip into old habits of being. To avoid this tendency, I recommend putting yourself around people who embody the kinds of ideals you want to express. In this way, you force yourself to stand, as Lisa Nichols says, “on your tippy toes.”

You can do that in person. Find someone who is giving and living at the level you want to and do what you can to be next to them. You can do that remotely. With technology, you can lovingly stalk anyone and observe the way they do things. And, you can do that in a book or via audio or video. I have many “dead heroes.” In fact, I was just remarking to Jon Miller (As a Man Thinketh The Movie) that I need a 24-hour return visit from Zig Ziglar and Rev. Ike. I didn’t know much about them when they were alive and they didn’t hit my radar for personal study until after they’d made their respective transitions.

What’s Your New High Ideal?

Now it’s your turn. Download the sheet and choose an area for Quadrant #1 to work on. In the comments, let me know what area you chose and what spiritual, mental and physical ideals you’re reaching for in that area of your life. Be as specific as possible. You never know whom you might inspire with your comment.


A Testimony for The Money Poems

“I experienced how The Money Poems work one day while cooking dinner. I’d just started reciting my poems two days prior, when our internet went out at the house.

My mother had gotten out of the hospital a few weeks prior. Since my parents are retired, the hospital stay altered their monthly income. Basically, things were tight and my father needed an extra week to pay the full amount.

He called to get an extension and reconnection of services. The customer service representative told him there was nothing that could be done until the full amount was paid.

When my dad told me what was said, I encouraged him to call back. I also suggested my mother be with him on the phone for the second call.

As my parents sat in the home office waiting to speak to a representative for the second time, I completed dinner and picked up my copy of The Money Poems. I began reciting, softly, the poem of the day, which was Wednesday. I would recite the poem and go back to reading the book.

Once I heard them on the phone with the new representative and his supervisor, I continuously recited the Wednesday poem. I was relaxed and smiling every time I recited the poem. Once I felt completely at ease, I stopped and continued to read the book.

When my parents completed their phone call, they informed me that the supervisor saw they’d never been disconnected before and agreed to turn on the internet service within the hour. I smiled to myself and announced dinner was ready.”

~ Dee Johnson (Houston, TX)



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