Give and it shall be given unto you. Although we often hear this scripture read preceding the offering in a church service, in context it refers not to money but to our moral responsibility to man and to God. Give friendship; get friendship. Give love; get love. Give criticism; get criticism. Give a cold shoulder; get a cold shoulder. We don’t always get back from the person to whom we give. Often we get back through other people. We may not get the return immediately; in fact, we may get it many years from the time we give. Whenever and however it may come, we do reap what we sow. In other words, we get what we’ve got coming—even if it’s delayed until eternity.
We must expect to be dealt with as we deal with others: With the same measure that ye mete it shall be measured to you again. If we give lots of love and attention, in some way, shape or form, we will get the same lavished upon us—perhaps not by those to whom we give it but from others.
Consider these verses:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38 ). But read the true meaning in The Message version of the same scripture: Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity (Luke 6:38 Msg).
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (Prov.18:24a).
Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life (Gal.6:7 Msg)
His master replied, You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? (Matt. 25:26 CEB). Should that not be reason enough for us to give honor and respect and love—even to the unlovely? Even when we don’t expect a return from that person?
Some will say, but my parents didn’t treat me right. The scripture doesn’t say if they treat you right, honor them. It simply says, if you want things to go well for you and live long, then honor your parents. (Eph.6:2-3; Ex. 20:12; Deut 5:16).
Scripture also says to love your enemies: You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you (Matt.5:43-48 Msg).
What am I giving that I would like to receive back in abundance?
What am I getting that I don’t like? Did I plant it?
What have I got coming to me as a result of my actions and words?
(c) 8 January 2013