Week Three – Tuesday
As I stated yesterday, giving is not all about money. Wealth is not tied up in our material possessions. There is a scripture that I often hear taken out of context and I know you have heard it too. Jesus was teaching one day and He says this, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” This scripture has been used so many times to talk about how when we give money, God will give us more in return. Contrary to zealous preacher’s beliefs, this verse is not at all about money. It’s actually about mercy and forgiveness.
Jesus, begins by talking about judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Why would He go from talking about these three merciful things to a completely different topic. It’s simple, He would not. (and did not) Jesus was telling us that how we give mercy, will be how we receive mercy. This not only applies to our lives here on earth, but also the spiritual world. Many people have the misconception that we are not to judge or condemn, but thats not what Jesus said. He simply warned that the measure by which we judge or condemn others, will be the measure we are held to also.
Beyond this, Jesus was not giving us some magic formula that when we give, He gives us more. It was common in the jewish marketplace that people would carry goods in the flap created by the outer garment. Think of it like holding up your shirt to carry something in it. Much like a pocket on a kangaroo. So when they would by a grain or flour, they would use this as a bowl to carry it. When the seller had filled it up, the buyer would then press or pack it down and shake it to make room for more. The seller did not have to give any more but if they were generous, they would top it off so that there was room for no more (running over).
Using this image, Jesus let his disciples know that when we choose to give generously in our mercy, that God is also generous in His. He even finishes it with talking about the blind leading the blind or seeing the speck in our brother’s eye but not the log in our own. Yes, the word says we should give financially, but giving is so much more than that. Has God been generous in giving you mercy? Then how much more should we be merciful, even to those who we may not think deserve it. After all, we do not deserve His. Who needs your mercy today? I know how much I need each and every day, so I pray Lord, always help me to have mercy on those who need it.
Father, help me to alway be merciful to others. Even those who have done wrong towards me, help me to show the same mercy you have shown me. Change my heart from being judgmental to one who gives grace. Help me to not focus on the sin in others lives but heart in which you love. In Jesus Name, Amen.