Lesson Six — The Constant Flow
This final lesson is all about the Law of Giving and Receiving. We learn that we do not give in order to receive. Our good is always available to us. Rather we give to remove the blocks that prevent us from receiving the good that is always there.
Download a PDF of the bulletin for lesson 6. This PDF can be used as an insert in a Sunday bulletin or for making notes in personal or group study. For a Sunday bulletin, print on both sides and cut the paper in half.
101 Lesson 6 introduction
This is lesson six in the series Why Not Be Rich? It is entitled “The Constant Flow.” Join us now for our final lesson and our powerful prospering declarations.
102 Review of affirmations
Summary: Review of affirmations, bringing “prosperity is spiritual, spirituality prospers” and concludes with “thank you God for my increased prosperity manifesting as peace of mind, health of body, harmonious relationships and abundant, successful living, now!”
Now, you all received your goal sheets, but I would say put them aside and just repeat, looking up here. That way, you don’t have to be involved with the reading. We’re going to go right through from the top today. We’re going to take them all, from the very first affirmation we made, all the way through to your end. Now, on your sheets, you’ll notice I reversed number one and two, because I wanted to put the two that were by Catherine Ponder together, so you know the source on that. Let’s start right from the top, “Prosperity is Spiritual—Spirituality Prospers.” Together:
Prosperity is Spiritual—Spirituality Prospers
“It is my Father’s good pleasure,” together:
It is my Father’s good pleasure to give me the kingdom of all good.
Number three, together:
I am the rich child of a loving Father, and I dare to prosper NOW!
God is the source of a mighty stream of substance. I am its channel of expression.
I am prepared for unlimited increase of good NOW!
When? Now. Good. Six.
Prosperity is my spiritual right—I dare to prosper NOW!
I quickly release all mental limitations, negative emotions, and physical accumulations that keep my good from me. I activate the free flow of my good NOW!
I release, and I let go. I am open to God’s flow. I dare to prosper NOW!
When? Now. Good. Number nine.
I freely and fully forgive and begin to love myself and others. Forgiving and loving attracts new, rich good into my life.
I expect a miracle of God’s rich abundance to manifest in my life NOW!
The super abundance of spirit is mine in mind and manifestation.
I work miracles as I speak words of increase and abundance.
My constructive, uplifting, fulfilling words prosper me NOW!
When? Now. Good. Number 14.
I am prospering. I am prospering NOW! My rich thoughts prosper me NOW!
Good. Now, number 15. It’s a very short one, but let’s say it really with vigor.
I am rich in mind and manifestation.
My mind is filled with rich images that prosper me NOW!
Picturing power prospers me.
Positive feelings increase my prospering power.
Loving giving brings me prosperous living.
Systematic giving assures abundant living and a steady flow of my rich good NOW!
Thank you, God, for my increased prosperity manifesting as peace of mind, health of body, harmonious relationships, and abundant, successful living NOW!
Once again on number 21. “Thank you, God, for my increased prosperity manifesting as peace of mind, health of body, harmonious relationships, and abundant, successful living NOW!” When? Now! When? Now! When? Now! That’s good. Now, you’ve got that feeling. You’ve got your feeling nature involved, and you’re ready to be prospered in every way.
103 Three points from a John Wesley sermon
Summary: This story about John Wesley is from Sermon 50 "The Use of Money" in The Works of the Reverend John Wesley, A.M. (1840) edited by John Emory, Vol. I, p. 446
You know, we can prosper if we open ourselves to the good that God has prepared for us. If we are ready to have that constant flow in our life, we can achieve it in the right way, with the right actions, at the right time.
John Wesley, who was, of course, a very famous orator and preacher, gave a sermon one time, and he gave three significant points in his sermon. In the sermon, he said you must get all you can. Of course, I think everybody can identify with that, and out from the amen corner came a big, “Amen!” Then, he said, a little bit later, keep all you can. Of course, from that corner came another big, “Amen!” Then finally, he says give all you can, and from that same corner came a stage whisper that says, “What a shame to spoil a great sermon.”
Yet we have to realize that the keynote to every good sermon, whether we are preaching it, or whether someone else is preaching it to us, whether we are living, because we are living our own sermons, and that idea is give all you can, because giving is a fundamental spiritual law.
104 Giving is a fundamental spiritual law
Giving is a fundamental spiritual law. All of the universe is constantly giving. Now, when we say giving, we’re not talking about throwing away. In other words, you’re just not to go out and just throw everything away, because that’s not being a good steward. That’s not using the law correctly.
Neither does it mean to be a martyr and give, and give, and give. Do you get the feeling? Giving, you’re not really giving. A martyr is bartering. You know the difference between bartering and giving? Giving releases and lets go. Bartering has a string attached. Every time you barter, you give with the expectation of getting immediate return. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. That same idea that we hear so often in the world, but that’s not what we’re talking about.
We’re talking about giving of ourself, because there is a fundamental law in the universe.
105 Prosperity works according to law
Prosperity, which is a state of mind, which is that abundance that we can experience in all phases of our life, works according to law. Remember that you and I are spiritual beings. We’re living in a spiritual universe, and we are governed by spiritual law. We are governed by spiritual law.
And that God, in His infinite love, and the love of God, has provided an abundant universe in which we live, has provided spiritual substance to meet every need. Not only did He provide an abundant universe fairly teeming with all good, but He also created us. He created each and every one of us, and how did He create us? He created us in His image and after His likeness. What more glorious idea could we really have, to be created in the image and after the likeness of God? It’s great.
But after creating an abundant universe, and creating us in His image and after His likeness, what did He do then? Did He just set it loose? No. He created a law, a law, a spiritual law, that would ensure that each and every one of us, if we worked with the law correctly, would inherit the kingdom of all good.
It is not something that may just be happenstance. If we think well, if we act well, if we do the right things, just maybe we might be lucky. We might be lucky, and we might hit the jackpot and enter the kingdom. No. Life as God prepared it is not a slot machine. It is not a slot machine that maybe you’re going to hit it. The life as God prepared it for us is always working according to the law.
Now, we’ve been talking about that for five weeks now, and I think by now, most of you recognize that law as the law of mind action, the law of mind action, which says thoughts we are holding in our mind are producing after their kind in our world. We’ve also learned the aspects that says like begets like. Like attracts like. What is it, like what? Like thoughts beget like results. Like thoughts attract the good that we desire in our life.
106 The Law of Giving and Receiving
The law is always at work. One of the main aspects of that law is the law of giving and receiving, giving and receiving. Jesus stated this very clearly, and we find those words in Luke, where He said,
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, for the same measure you give will then the measure you give back” (Luke 6:38).
Got that idea? “Good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over, for the measure that you give will be the measure that you get.”
Now, of course, what prompted him to say that was in His days, the merchants in his time had a little strange habit. There were always two partners in the business. There were always two partners in the business. Now, the partner that did the buying for the business, especially in the cloth or in the grain business, well, one of them, the partner that was going to do the buying always had a long arm. The partner that did the selling had a short one. He was a little, bitty man, so that they were always not giving fair measure, fair measure, and they were often having grain type of measures in which one was not exactly as large as the other. Of course, the one that they filled was always the larger, and the one they sold with was always slightly smaller.
You remember the old story about the thumb on the scale? Well, this is the idea that Jesus had in His mind when He was saying, “For the measure that you give will be the measure that you get back.” If you give stintingly, if you give with the thought of limiting the giving, then what you get back will come back to you in the same measure.
For Charles Fillmore recognized this when he wrote the book Prosperity, and he titled one of his chapters in that book, Right Giving: The Way to Abundant Receiving; Right Giving: The Way to Abundant Receiving. We all need to learn what it means to give in the right way.
107 It is the spirit in which we giving that is so important
There was a minister who was being entertained by one member of his congregation, and they were having a very sumptuous meal. With the meal, they were being served a very fine wine. The minister had a glass of the wine, and he obviously enjoyed it. His host said to him, “You know, if you will do something, I will send you a case of this fine wine.” The minister says, “What do you want me to do?” He says, “Well, I wish for you to acknowledge the gift that I have sent you from the pulpit next Sunday morning.”
And so the minister agreed to do this. He agreed to do this, and the next Sunday morning, he stood up, and he made an announcement. The announcement went exactly like this, “I wish to thank Mr. Jones for the generous gift of fruit and the spirit in which it was sent.” When he sent this, he had the right idea of giving, but he had some strings on it. He had some strings on it.
We have to recognize that it is the spirit in which our gifts are given that is so terribly important, because if we give with the attitude of holding on, of limitation, then we are sowing very sparingly. If we sow very sparingly, what does the law say? We’re going to reap very sparingly, for the spirit in which we give is so important that Paul said of this, that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
God loves a cheerful giver. Why does God love a cheerful giver? Because God, who is the allness of the universe, recognizes that we if we do not give freely, and easily, and cheerfully, we are not going to receive the good that He has prepared for us from the very beginning. We can only receive when we truly are constantly willing to give way to the flow of God's good in us.
108 Give up Give Out and Give Way to God's flow within
Summary: Our need is to “give up, to give out and to give way to the flow of God’s good from within.”
Our need then is to give up, to give up, to give out, and to give way to the flow of God’s good from within.
If we look around us, we’ll find that all of life is giving. All of life is an act of giving. At this time of the year, we don’t have to look very far to see that nature is giving a rich harvest, a rich, abundant harvest of all good. All we have to do is look out and we can see that all the trees are giving up. They’re giving up their leaves. Of course, if you have to rake them, you may not be very happy about that, but if you are letting the cycle of nature take care of itself, what are the leaves doing? They’re enriching the earth. They’re enriching the earth, so that the next time, there will be a rich harvest of good, a rich harvest of good, so that everything will prosper.
109 From center to circumference is the Divine order
Summary: The problem with “as you receive, so shall you give” is that this is out of divine order. Divine order says that all things flow from the center to the circumference, from the within to the without.
Now, when we are centered in on this idea of getting, we begin to work against the law. The law does not say as you receive, so shall you give. It doesn’t say that. The law says, “As you give, so shall you receive.”
If we have been involved in the getting and in the awareness of trying to get things, then we are out of divine order. We are out of divine order, for divine order says that all things in the universe flow from center to circumference, from the within to the without.
When we are involved in getting, we are centering our attention on outer effects, and outer effects are the result of our prior giving, of our prior giving. And of course, they are limited according to what we have given in the past, what we have given to the world, and to those persons and situations around us. So they are very limited, and there is no power in effects except what we assign to them. If we assign the power to the effects, then we are limited by that assigment of the power.
Whereas if we center in on giving, then our attention is taken away from the effects and centered on the inner flow, the inner flow that comes from within each and every one of us, that is greater than any of us can imagine, that is greater than what we can ever think of experiencing, because the within of us is the unlimited flow of God good, the good that God has prepared for us.
110 Unity is founded on giving freely and giving fully
Summary: Unity is founded on the idea of the “free will love offering,” knowing that people, when given the opportunity to give freely in love would feel and learn the law of right giving.
You know, the Unity movement was based, and founded, and still is founded upon the idea of giving—giving freely, giving fully, giving of the service, giving of the good that we all have. Even in the beginning, when most institutions and churches were concentrating on getting, Unity even instituted the idea of the freewill love offering—the freewill love offering—knowing that people, when given the opportunity to give freely in love of the good that they had would feel and learn the law of right giving.
That then, when they did this, that abundance would begin to manifest in their life as peace of mind, health of body, prosperity in all of their affairs, and right relationships in their life.
We really need to recognize that we, as Unity students, have learned the law, and we practice it every Sunday. We practice it with that statement that “Divide love, through me, blesses and multiplies this offering”—blesses and multiplies this offering.
111 The power of thoughts and words is the ideas in back of them
Summary: How Susannah H Scott taught Martha that the power of thoughts and words are the ideas in back of them.
You know, I’ve talked to you about the idea of keeping your purses, and your wallets, and your bank accounts open after you’ve given, not to close them up immediately. We have a habit of giving, and then we close up immediately. We take out our love offering, and we close.
Well, my minister, one of my early minsters, was Susannah Scott. Susannah Scott was the one who taught me that when I give, to leave my purse, to leave my wallet, to open my bank account, to open my mind so that the flow of the blessing could come in as soon as I had given. Instead of closing it off immediately, she taught me to do that, and I’ve been passing those ideas on to you.
Well, when Susannah first was—well, before she ever came into the ministry, and she had just begun to learn about Unity. She had read Charles Fillmore’s books. At this particular time, she was living in South America. In South America, there were a great many ants in the place where she was living. She was living out in an undeveloped area, and there were great multitudes of ants that were always coming into the house, always coming into the house, and she didn’t know how to get rid of the ants. All of a sudden, she said, “Well, I’ll do an affirmation.” She had learned about affirmations and how they work, but the only affirmation that she could remember was “God blesses and multiplies this offering.” That was the only one that she could remember, but she said, “You know, I’m going to use it, anyway. I’m going to use it anyway.” She began to pray, “God blesses and multiplies these ants.”
Now, she says, “Now, God, you know that that’s not what I want. I don’t want them increased, but you know what I want, and you will work out the right activity.” Do you know what? The ants disappeared. The ants disappeared, and she was never troubled with them again, because it was in her own mind her motive. Her motive, her thoughts, what she really wanted was brought about thought the law.
Charles Fillmore says of this that the power of thoughts and words is that they bring results in accordance with the ideas back of them, with the ideas back of them. We really need to be aware of what ideas are back of the words and the thoughts that we are expressing in our life. If we’re expressing words of limitation, or even if we’re expressing words of abundance, but back of them, we’re holding onto an idea of limitation, then what is going to happen? Are we going to bring forth the abundance? No. We’re going to bring forth that which is in accord with the thought that we are holding behind the words that we are speaking.
Behind every word, every thought that we have, stands the super abundance of the Christ mind and the rich divine ideas that are filled with infinite possibilities of expressing good in our life.
112 Give up old limiting thoughts that are blocking flow in our life
They stand behind every idea, but most of the time, instead of seeking our thought and our oneness to be in alignment with those rich, abundant ideas of the Christ mind, we limit them to old concepts, old thought patterns, old beliefs that we have lodged and kept lodged in our subconscious mind.
We need to build, or to prepare, a channel that we are for a richer, more abundant flow of God’s good. The way we can do this is in a lot of the things that we’ve been doing already as we’ve been studying these prosperity ideas, and the first one is to give up, give up. You know, denials always precede affirmations, and we have been learning to give up things.
We’ve been learning to give up those old limiting thoughts that are blocking the flow of good in our life, those old false concepts that we picked up somewhere along the way. We’ve been learning to get rid of them by writing them down, and burning them, eliminating them from our consciousness. Whenever we hear ourselves saying a word that is limiting, then we set it aside, and we begin to release it, let it go, let it dissolve, and begin to flow with the rich substance of the universe.
113 Let go of old accumulations
Summary: Martha describes how she and Frank came to school with little, but had accumulated much in five years.
We are beginning to learn to let go of old accumulations, and believe you me, Frank and I are learning how to let go of old accumulations. As most of you know that we're moving this week into a new home, and as we're moving into our new home, we are getting rid of a lot of accumulation. You can't believe how much you can accumulate in five years, and I'm not really much of an accumulator. I keep getting rid. I've been getting rid all the way along the line, but heavens to Betsy, by the time we get through with all of the stuff that we're packing, we seem like we have a super abundance.
I have to tell you something. When Frank and I each arrived at Unity School to enter the ministry, we both arrived in a similar condition, and that similar condition was that he drove his car, I drove my car, and we had given up all our worldly possessions except what was in those two cars. Now, we have a super abundance of accumulated good that we have accumulated just in the time that we have been in the ministry. We both gave up, we both arrived in that particular way, without an accumulation of good, and were ready, and open, and receptive for the new good that was to come forward for us.
114 Giving out is the way to act in accord with our affirmative thought
We all have been working with the idea of giving up old mental conditions. How many of you have done your list of writing out the old things that you want to get rid of? How many of you have done the garage cleaning, the closet cleaning? How many of you have written your desire list, all of the things that you want to achieve? How many of you? You're doing it? Good. I know some of you are doing it, because you are really, really letting me know.
But don't think that the law is going to work unless you work with it. You know, you can sit back, and you can affirm all day long, but unless you act in accordance with your affirmation, with your statements, you are going to find that you are going to get very limited results, very limited results, because you must act in accord with your affirmations. That is the way of giving out. Giving out is the way of acting in accord with your affirmative thoughts. You need to give out.
115 Give out love
Summary: We don’t owe the world anything except love.
You need to give out all that you can. You need to give out love, first of all. You know, you don’t owe the world anything except love. You owe the world love. The rest of it is an interaction between human beings in the way of bartering and exchange, but love is the one thing that we all owe one another. We all owe one another love, and when we love, we find out that everything seems to come into a harmonious, balanced exchange between us and all of those persons that we are working with. We need to give out love to our friends, to our family. We need to give out love as a way of helping one another, caring for one another.
This morning, on my way into the chapel, Frank and I were met by one of our teachers from over in the Youth Education Department, and he presented us with two little cards, two little cards, and on the two little cards were statements. One was a card that you could present and get a hug, you know? It was something that you could get a hug with, so if you presented it to someone, they would have to give you a hug. The other one was one that you could cash in for a kiss, so if you really wanted a hug or a kiss, these could be traded in for that. Well, these are ways of giving, giving love by hugging. Not only hugging—have you hugged your spouse today? Have you hugged your kid today?
Have you hugged your own inner kid today? If you haven’t, let’s take time right now and give your inner kid a hug, really give your kid a hug, you know? My goodness, I see some of you that are not doing that. Don’t you love your kid? Heavens, you know? Sometimes, you’re going to be the only one. If you can’t love yourself, if you cannot give love to yourself, how can you really expect to give it to others? That’s one of those old messages that we have to give up. We have to give up that old message that it isn’t right for us to give love to ourselves, to appreciate ourselves, because if we don’t appreciate ourselves, we really are not going to appreciate others very much.
There’s a statement that says if I want to give you five dollars, what have I got to have in my pocket? Five dollars. Five dollars, okay. If you don’t have love for yourself, then you’re not going to have an awful lot of love to give to others. We really need to give out of our love to our family, to our friends, and to ourselves, to give out to our personal selves that love.
116 Give out enthusiasm and postiive thoughts and words
We need to give out enthusiasm, you know? If you give out enthusiasm to live, what happens? Life begins to be stirred up. Stir up the gift of God that is within you, and stir up that gift of God that is within you, and when you begin to give with enthusiasm, then what happens to you? You get so involved in the giving that all of a sudden, you’re flowing without even thinking about it. You’re really beginning to flow with life, and you’re really beginning to enjoy life.
We need to give out of our positive, uplifting thoughts, our positive, uplifting words. We need to speak words that are positivity and uplifting to everyone around us. We need to speak words and do things which are positive, because when we really begin to give out, we really begin to draw through us the good that we want in life.
When I was a student minister in training here at Unity School, I had learned very early, because I was one of those people who grew up in New Thought and Unity. I’d learned very early that what you had to do in life was to give, that your first action was to give, and not to be concerned about the getting, because the law always worked. If you were in the act of giving, and not concerned with the getting, then the getting came of its own accord in very special and wonderful ways.
As a student, I very often had the opportunity to do things for people. People would call me, and they’d say, “Martha, could you give us a hand?” I’d say, “Sure. Sure.” I’d go in, and I would work them. Then, another time, I knew the YOU [Youth of Unity] was very heavy into a lot of work, at one part of the year, when they were really trying to get things organized, and I had been the program director for the YOU conferences for a couple of years, and I knew what the workload was. So I went to Bonnie Armstrong at that time, and I said, “Hey, Bonnie, you need some help, you need some help in getting some of the letters, and some of the things prepared for the forthcoming conference?”
He says, “I sure do, but we can’t pay you. You know, we don’t have a budget for it.” I said, “That’s okay.” I said, “I know that the law works.” But Moser and Carmen [TruthUnity note: if you happen to know who Martha is referring to, please share that with Mark at TruthUnity], who wrote these particular songs, needed somebody to do some brainstorming with them and some work on the retreat program, at that particular time, and I turned out, full-fledged, for the time that I had, I gave very freely. I didn’t think very much about it until the first of the month.
Now, at that particular time, I had told you about our getting the grant checks. Well, in addition to my grant check, at the first of the month, I got three other checks, three other checks, and the love offerings that I received from the three acts that I had performed without any thought of getting came to me in abundant measure, and I was really overwhelmed, as well as my boss at that particular time was really overwhelmed, because at first, they were really thinking, “Golly, does she really deserve this much money?” And my boss says, “If it’s her consciousness, she deserves it.” So I received all of this good in abundant measure.
If you’re concerned with the giving, and let the getting take care of itself, then you will find that it flows to you quickly, easily, and peacefully.
117 Give out financially
Summary: “Give a little now, give a little then” leads to inconsistent flow of our good. Systematic makes our flow come to us in a regular, increasing flow.
Of course, it’s very necessarily for us to learn to give of our financial good. One of the ways that we can learn to do that is through tithing. Tithing is giving a tenth of our good to God’s work and workers. It’s a very important concept. I’ve been a life-long tither, and I’ve always found that tithing works for me. It always has.
I like something Eric Butterworth said about tithing. He said, “Tithing is training wheels for systematic giving.” Tithing is a good way of learning how to give systematically. When you are giving systematically, and it is a way of training it, because we’re kind of haphazard, most of us, in our giving. We give a little now and give a little then. We give a little now. What kind of receiving do we get? We get a little now. We get a little then, just in the same way. But when we learn to give systematically and regularly, then what do we find? Then our flow comes to us in an every-increasing regular flow of good.
118 Summary of this lesson
Summary: Martha summarizes the lesson. Describes Ed Rabel who gives of himself in his Metaphysical Bible interpretation.
We really need to learn to give of our good, but we need to watch our motives. What are our motives? Are our motives getting? Is our motive to give and to work with the spiritual laws of the universe?
Once we begin to give, what do we find that we’re doing? We find that as we’re giving, we’re giving way to a greater flow of God’s good from within us, a greater flow, for as we give, we give way. It says if we have removed blocks, which have been blocking that flow, and that flow begins to move through us, as more love, more love in our life and in our mind, a greater feeling of self-worth, a greater feeling of self-worth, a beginning awareness of knowing who and what we are, of knowing who and what we are. We begin to receive guidance.
You know, when you begin to give out of the knowledge that you have, when you begin to share the awareness that you have already accumulated, guess what? More awareness comes to you, more awareness comes to you.
I remember thinking about Ed Rabel, who is going to be our speaker at 11 o’clock, and Ed has concentrated on metaphysical Bible interpretation. As an interpreter of the Bible, he is—there is none that excels Ed at interpretation, but what has he done? He has given of himself, and given, and given, and given of his interpretations, and as he does this, what happens? He gives way to the flow from within him of a greater awareness of what the meaning is in each of these ideas in the Bible.
When we give way, we give way to new successful thoughts, new successful thoughts, which we cash in, then, as new ways of abundant living. Of course, when we give way to the flow, what do we give way to? We give way to abundant vibrations of good feelings, good feelings, good feelings, which then manifest in our life by attracting to us the good that we want.
119 Name what you desire and give thanks for at least 21 days
Summary: Martha challenges us to a practical exercise that she has used many times.
I'm going to challenge each of you to prove the law. I'm going to ask you to write down, after you leave today, a desire of your heart. I'm going to ask you to go home and make yourself a little bank. Take out one of those plastic containers that everybody has stuffed under the shelf, and make a little bank out of it. After you make a bank out of it, write that desire right on the top of that little bank, and put it beside your bed. The last thing before you go to sleep every night, I want you to take out a coin. It doesn't matter what denomination that coin is, or the money is, whatever you want to put in there, put it in there, and as you do, give thanks for the positive fulfillment of your desire. Name your desire, and give thanks for the positive fulfillment of your desire.
Every time I feel myself not receiving what I really want to receive, I practice this. I practice this. I usually practice it for about 40 days, sometimes 30 days, sometimes 40 days. The exact number of days is not significant, except that it has to be over 21 days, because it takes 21 days to do what? To convince our subconscious mind that we really mean business. At the end of those days, give that bank to whatever channel of God's work and workers, or whatever God's good that you want to see that going to.
120 Systematic giving brings abundant living
Summary: Martha concludes with an affirmation: “Systematic giving brings abundant living, Now!”
All right? When you do this, you’re going to find out something, and what you’re going to find out, that “systematic giving brings abundant living.” “Systematic giving brings abundant living.” Together:
Systematic giving brings abundant living.
Again. “Systematic giving brings abundant living.” Once more. “Systematic giving brings abundant living.” When? Now! When? Now! When? Now! Good. Now, you have it. Now’s your chance to really prove the law.