In my recent post What’s Communication Got to Do With It? I introduced the Hebrew idiom Good Eye/Evil Eye – meaning if you are generous you have a good eye or if you are stingy you have an evil or bad eye. The idiom has nothing to do with eyesight or eye health.
In this post will take the concept of generosity a bit further – be forewarned, I will be putting a popular verse into context – and might ruin it for you. But that’s a good thing.
Recently I was thinking about the passage that many prosperity preachers love to use: Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together, running over shall men give unto you.
The way is has been preached by some is basically, if you give, you will get rich. I used to go to churches that taught that and bought into it myself. If you give, God will cause others to give to you so much you will get rich. But how would that really work for the average ordinary person who has a very small circle of friends and influence. It seems like it is a truism because those that preach that view seem to have so much – many are filthy rich. It kind of brings the chain letter of prosperity to mind – strangers will just send you money out of the blue.
But that is not what this verse is about. Let me explain.
Context, Context, Context
Let’s read the verses just prior to our “favorite” verse to get the context.
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 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. 35 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. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 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 6:27-38 ESV
Now that we have the context, we can see that the verse is not about riches. It is about how we treat people. If we treat them nicely and with respect, that is what we will get. If we are judgy and critical, that is what we will get. And the measure, the amount of our kindness or criticalness, our forgiveness of others is how much kindness, judgement, forgiveness we will receive. This verse is not about riches.
Remember the words of Yeshua when He taught His disciples how to pray, forgive us the debt of our sin as we forgive the debt of those who sin against us.
It’s Always All About Love
It all goes back to the two greatest commandments – Love Yehovah your God with all your heart, soul, mind, & strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
I have said it before and will probably say it many more times – I am directing these posts to myself just as much if not more than to anyone who may read my posts. Do not think that I think I have all this figured out and am living this out perfectly. I am not. I am still learning and am sharing along the way.
If this post has touched you or resonated with you, please consider liking, commenting, and sharing it with a friend.
Feature Image by belchonock via Canva Pro