- Religion and Philosophy
The Art of Giving - According to Luke
Give, and it shall be given unto you
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38”
Anyone who has been to Church has heard this Scripture read at some point. Usually, just before the tithes and offerings are received. Do we actually know, or understand its full meaning? Of course we know, in the context of tithes and offerings, it pertains to the giving of money. Let’s extend the purview on this text.
The scripture starts out with one basic word -- Give. However, it is not specified as to what is to be given. It has always been taught, and assumed, that it is instructing the faithful to give money.
In looking at when, where, and to whom this command is given, it becomes apparent that the people the author is writing to are not necessarily people of means, as we know it.
In the book of Acts, written around the same time, and some scholars think by the same person, it speaks to a group of faithful believers. These people were continuously worshiping, fellowshipping and even selling their personal possessions to meet the needs of fellow believers.
They did not attend church; they had no church to attend. These believers just went from one member’s house to the next. They – gave – of all they had, and from their giving arose the Christian Church, as we know it today.
How does this scripture pertain to today’s Church?
There are beautiful church buildings and modern facilities; certainly it does mean to give your money! I would have to agree, but I think that is only a small part of what the representatives of the Kingdom of God, have been instructed to give. Unfortunately, there are those who teach that if money is given, money will be received, and lots of it.
I do not disagree entirely; I have seen the effect of giving finances; but leaving it at that, short changes the giver. Why not start with something easy to give, something that does not cost a thing. What if this same scripture were written this way?
Give a smile to others and a smile will be given back to you. First one smile, then another, and before long everyone around you will be smiling.”
Give kindness to others and kindness will be given back to you, Kindness from family, friends, even from complete strangers.
Give honesty to others and others will be honest with you.
Give tenderness to others and you will receive tenderness from those around you.
Give hospitality to others and others will be hospitable to you.
I think you get the picture. Perhaps the author of this scripture wrote, Give, without being specific so we can fill in our own blank. In essence, it says the same thing as the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” It lets us know that what ever we give, we will get it back – abundantly. So whatever you – give, make sure it is something you want back, and a lot of it.
I’ve seen the negative side of this at work in people’s lives too. They – give, hate, jealousy, anger, mistrust, bitterness and hostility, and they – receive the same, in abundance
Could it be this simple?
The last part of that scripture is crucial for it says, “For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
How do you measure out smiles to people? Do you just smile at people you like, the one’s you get along with or the ones who dress like you? If you are stingy with how you give, it will be returned to you with the same attitude.
If we are kind to only one type of people and not to everyone, why would we be surprised if someone is unkind to us? If we are not honest with others, we should not be surprised when others are dishonest with us.
If we are quick tempered and harsh with others, why are we offended when the clerk at the store is less than helpful?
If we are stingy and tight-fisted with the blessings we receive, why are we surprised when those blessings do not rush to us as we think they should?
“Give,” – give love, give kindness, give patience, give goodness, give peace, give joy, show your faithfulness and your self control, and all these things shall be added unto you. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall others give you love, kindness, patience, goodness, peace, joy and be faithful to you. However willing you are to give these things to others is the same willingness they will have toward you.”
Could it be this simple?
How about we give it a try?
Let’s start today, let’s start to – Give.
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