Giving is something that is becoming increasingly more important as our world grows and people become less and less inclined to be courteous folks. I am sometimes saddened by this progression (or should I say regression), but at least it gives us an opportunity find the positives in situations.
“Give, and it will be given to 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
This is one of my favorite and least favorite scriptures in the Bible. The reason for that is simple. This scripture essentially says that in the manner in which you approach giving, in that same manner others will approach giving to you. That means that if you are a stingy give-nothing-to-no-one type of person you are more than likely a receive-nothing-from-no-one type of person as well.
Have you ever met a person that seemed to just get stuff? I used to work for a guy that had everything. He had the nice house, the long marriage, the two kids (one boy, one girl), the great high paying job, the golf membership, blah blah blah blah blah. This guy had it all. And you know what? He’d get stuff just because, right out of the blue. A golf day a Pebble Beach? Done. Owner’s box seats at a Lakers game? Done. He just seemed to get all the things that you would hope you’d get being on someone’s list of potential recipients. But you know what else? He gave like no one else I have ever known.
I can’t remember how many lunches he bought me, how many afternoons off he gave, how many things that he would get me on of when he got one. He is that type of person. He always seems to have giving on his mind. It makes sense to him, I think, to give. He likes doing it and gets joy when others are happy at what they received from him.
So how do you give? The scripture above, in context, discusses agricultural trade. Imagine being at an open market and you want to buy grain. Lets say that grain costs 2 tidbits per measure. And lets say that a measure is essentially one small sack. would you want the person selling you the grain to pour some grain in the sack and hand it back to you asking for your 2 tidbits, or would you rather have that person pour grain into the sack, then bang the sack on the table to settle the grain so he can make room in the sack for more grain, then continue to do that until the grain literally flowed out of the sack because it was so full? That is what that scripture means. Give like you want the recipient to have as much as you can possibly fit into their receiver. When you give like that, nothing can stop you receiving like that.
Practical application always works best
It is just a guess, but I would say that the principal of giving most important when it comes to relationship. Specifically, relationship between husband and wife. Men, this is for you…
When you ask yourself why your marriage is not exactly where you want it to be (sexually, financially, spiritually, romantically, intimately) look at how you are giving to your wife. Are you giving to her in a way that she likes receiving? Are you giving because it brings you joy to see her happy? How do you view your wife when it comes to giving of yourself?
I find myself often asking the question ‘!??!?!?!??!??!?!?!?!?’ (for those that don’t know me, that is my general shake my head in wonderment while standing with my mouth agape question). Recently I discovered that I am not the giver that I thought myself to be. In fact, at times when I thought I was being the giver of the ages, I was really giving the way I wanted to receive and usually with a desire for something in return. In essence, I was trading my ‘gift’ for some form of payment for that gift. Now that is more than just a little wrong.
So I have set my eyes on trying to give to my wife in a way that is a blessing to her. She likes to be spoken to, then listened to. She doesn’t like to be touched, at all. She likes to be ‘invited’ into situation by having the environment set to create the proper atmosphere. She likes quiet. She likes being first. A lot of this is hard to give because I am really not into any of this. But, for those that haven’t heard, giving is not about you. And neither is your marriage. Your relationships are not about protecting yourself and gathering as much as you can from it. No no, your relationship is about making yourself vulnerable by opening yourself up, by giving of yourself and by not limiting the potential for exchange by withholding good.
I hope this makes sense to someone. It is very hard to live, but the principal is right, and I think we should all strive to live it so we can all be blessed.