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Give and take
- Jacob Ninan
"Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, shaken together, running over" (Lk.6:38). Many times this verse is used in connection with giving money to the Lord and His work, and receiving blessings from the Lord in return. But how about looking at this along with the other verse that tells us to do to others as we would want others to do to us? (Mt.7:12).
Don't we all want to be loved, told that someone loves us, forgiven for our sins and mistakes, shown kindness, patience and mercy rather than harshness, appreciated, thanked, congratulated, etc.? What don't we be generous towards the others in doing these same things to them?
Instead we tend to be stingy with good things like these, and rather free with the opposite - criticism, accusation, blaming, coldness and indifference towards people and ignoring them, holding on to their mistakes without forgiving them, impatiently demanding that they should be perfect in their behaviour towards us, etc.
On the top of that we complain that everyone is treating us badly. But aren't we simply getting back what we are merrily doling out?
Changes have to be initiated from our side. Of course. We have wasted enough time with the futile effort of trying to change the others. We have no power to change the others. But the power that God has given us can change us. And when we start giving out good things, we shall also begin to receive good things from the others. Isn't that quite natural, apart from God supernaturally working out things to fulfil His promises for us?
God says that our goodness can even change our enemies. If we respond in gentleness when someone is angry towards us, it can calm him down and make him also gentle (Pr.15:1). If we show goodness to someone who is doing wrong to us, it may cause him to repent (Pr.25:21,22). If our goodness can change our enemies, how much more it can change our friends and loved ones in dealing with us! The key is in our own hands.