Generosity Begets Generosity

Do you ever find yourself annoyed or frustrated by others’ actions?  Do you ever attempt to take it in your own hands to change them?  This may sound a lot like your relationship with your parents, siblings, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend.  They are doing something wrong, and you take it into your hands to try to make them to do what is “right” in your eyes.

Well, I can definitely relate to this situation.  I find myself judging others and trying to make them more like the way I want them to be.  Rather than coming to them in compassion, I sometimes come at them with criticism.  God shown His light and truth on my heart attitude when He showed me this verse:

Luke 6:37-38 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment.  Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang.  Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.  Giving, not getting, is the way.  Generosity begets generosity.”

To be honest, my heart jumped at reading the words “unless.”  Is there an exception?  Is there a possibility that what I’ve been doing is right after all? No, that wasn’t the case.  The only reason I would continue treating others the way I was treating them would be if I wanted that same treatment in return.  I knew I didn’t.  At this point, I knew I was wrong and I was humbled before God.

“Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier” Whenever I become preoccupied with people, judging them, picking on them, jumping on their failures, I am stressed out to the max.  When I give them to God, and stop making it my responsibility to change them, I receive God’s peace.  I know instead, that it’s my job to pray for them.  “If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.”  (1 John 5:16 NIV).

 “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back.”  When I judge others and demand they satisfy my expectations, I am demanding life from someone and only giving death.  This approach will not change them if I kept beating them over the head with their “failures.”  Mind you, often these “failures” are all in accord to a standard I set for that person, not necessarily the standard God set for them. 

Oh, did you notice that promise God put in there? If you give away your life, if you speak life and not death, you will receive life back, and “not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing”! God is able to multiply gifts and good things when they are surrendered to Him. 

I love the end. “Generosity begets generosity.” This changes my perspective on that word.  Generosity is not just about giving money or items to another.  It’s about giving love. It’s about giving patience, even when they do not deserve it.  It’s about giving them the benefit of the doubt, even when they do not deserve it. It’s about giving them space or the choice of activity. It’s about thinking of them before yourself. It’s about finding satisfaction in God’s love, so that we don’t have to rely on man’s love.

When we follow God’s way of interacting with our loved ones our frustration turns to compassion, our anger turns to love, and humility floods our hearts. 

I challenge you, do not rely on man’s love to satisfy your heart.  Rely on the perfect love of God.  When you are angry or frustrated with someone, turn straight to scripture and prayer. Instead of bossing others around and telling them how they should live their lives, live in front of them the way you want them to live.

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