Good Measure | Luke 6:30-38
Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 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. Luke 6:30-38 |ESV
Such a variety of ways generosity can be expressed. So many diverse expressions of being open. When we think of generosity and giving, churched people often automatically go in their minds to a church service and a public offering. And that is a good place to go! Tithing is crucial for empowering the church as a body to be ready for every good work without constantly having to stop and seek funds just to function. As such, tithing is the minimum, the starting point, a basic and primal spiritual practice of generosity that opens the doors to expanding expressions of opening hearts, hands, and homes. Too many neglect the tithe supposing they will have more to be generous elsewhere. Typically the result is anything but an expanding practice of generosity. Others suppose that by tithing they have done their part and so they can check giving off their list now. The teaching of Jesus gives us no such quarter. He stretches and challenges us to go beyond the starting point and to give, to open ourselves, and our wallets, unexpectedly, unreservedly, spontaneously. Anyone. Anywhere. Any need. Any request. Anything is possible. Anyone is fair game – especially those who have been unfair to us! How much? How often? “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” How we give is how we will receive back. It’s not a crass appeal to our greed. It’s a dynamic principle of kingdom generosity. Face life with an open heart and open hands, and you’ll be amazed at the way Life opens up to you.
What do you find hardest to give? Time? Talent? Tithe? What do you find easiest?
Lord, empower me to excel in the grace of giving! Teach me not only to tithe, but to live a life of spontaneous generosity anytime, anywhere, with anyone, as your Spirit leads me.
Tithe to a church that is doing kingdom business in helping the poor. Do it for six months. Watch what happens.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.