It has been said that "repetition is the mother of education." It has also been said that the human brain needs bombardment with a message at least seven times before that message begins to register. Thus, the words "A shift in consciousness" followed by the the word "generosity," needs explanation and repetition.
Remember the gear/stick-shift cars? Every now and then, you may note the pulsating motion of an automobile when the driver is shifting from one gear to another or the sound of a motorcycle shifting gears. In both instances, the shift is critical to changing the speed of the vehicle. In automatic cars, there is usually a maximum of two shifts; however, there are a number of gears at the driver's disposal. For example, downshifts for steep declines, off-road driving, and for managing inclement weather such as snow. A shifting of one's consciousness, however, is not so much about speed or quickness as it is about the keenness of one's readiness, attentiveness and mindfulness to respond to the spiritual principles that make life livable and our church life/practices momentous, significant and relevant.
We often hear people say "I am on a fixed income." Many are and, as a result, have to sometimes choose between food and medication. How do individuals manage, however, to acquire what they want even when their income is fixed? Some do not. For the most part, however, people do what they really want to do. For example, with God's help, I stopped smoking on Oct. 8, 2005. Cigarettes were $2.50 a pack, $1.50 more than I promised myself I would pay. Today, cigarettes are $10 a pack in some areas and people make budgetary adjustments so as to still smoke, albeit, grudgingly.
Prosperity preachers have done an excellent job in bamboozling thousands of people into giving far above the tithe such so that some can purchase jets, Bentleys, mansions, and tailored clothing in the name of the Lord. Surely, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having these things, unless it is at the expense of those who are on fixed incomes.
What is most important regarding financial support of your place of worship is attitude. God gets no glory out of coerced, tricked or begrudged giving. Whether you are a tither or first-fruit giver, God only gets the glory when giving is from a heart of generosity, that is to say, kindly and freely.
Please pray for the 6,612 American souls and the 7,998 coalition souls killed in action (as of 10/02/12), their families and, especially, their children. Thank you.