What is your strategy for getting what you want, even what you need? I’m not talking about anything you find under the tree come Christmas morning. I’m talking about things fundamental to everyday life and relationships—grace, love, kindness, mercy, empathy, understanding, support, encouragement. Stuff that is foundational to being human.
When we are urged to be people of greater grace, love, mercy, etc., there are two primary levers that are pulled in the NT. One is to remind us of all God has done and all we have received, and to urge us to follow God’s lead.
The second is very pragmatic. Give what you want to get. It’s the golden rule of grace. Here’s how Jesus describes it in Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Sadly this verse is often taken out of context by certain health and wealth gospel types. They discuss it in terms of monetary giving, particularly giving to them. It’s a contribution Ponzi scheme always promising a higher monetary yield than what you put in. You give $1, you get back a $1.10.
Jesus absolutely wants overflowing generosity, but he wasn’t talking about money. He was talking about mercy. He didn’t have finances in mind. He had forgiveness in mind. The stuff you don’t want to receive from others, don’t give—judgment, condemnation, etc. But all the stuff you want and need like grace and love and mercy and kindness and compassion…Give it, and it will be given to you generously, freely, pouring over.