January 30, 2020 (Thursday) - Give to Get - A Reflection on Mark 4:21-25

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

I always talk about the abundant life that Jesus promised us because I believe it is the fundamental right of a Christian, much like free speech is a fundamental right in most countries in the world. In today’s passage, we discover yet another key factor in living the abundant life. It is in giving that we receive. It might seem paradoxical, but if you look at it from God’s point of view, it makes sense. If he blesses you, and you keep those blessings to yourself, he would not be inclined to bless you more, would he?

Let me tell you a little story to drive home this truth. The original story was told by Tagore but, as is my habit, I have adapted it. There was a beggar who heard the king was going to be coming to his town. Since the king was known for his generosity, the beggar positioned himself in a prominent spot along the route he knew the king would take, believing the king couldn’t fail to notice him and stop. Right enough, as the king was passing, he saw the beggar and stopped his chariot.

He approached the beggar who stretched out his hand, with a big smile on his face. To his surprise, the king stretched out HIS hand to the beggar. “You give me something”, he said. The bewildered beggar was shocked, then outraged. But he could hardly refuse the king. Reaching into his bag, he drew out three grains of rice, which he handed to the king. The king pocketed it with a smile of thanks, then digging into HIS bag, two out three little pieces of gold, which he placed in the beggar’s hand, before getting back into his chariot and riding off.

It is said that God cannot be outdone in generosity, and I have seen the truth of that. The more generous we are, the more generous he is. And it isn’t only about money, as we often imagine; it is about every blessing that we receive in life — our talents, our time, our resources; even our knowledge. Whenever I learn something new, the first thing I wanna do is to share it with others, One reason is because of the sheer joy obtained in sharing. Second is because I know that God will teach me more.

There are about ten thousand people who read or watch these reflections everyday. A few comment about them, which is encouraging. I know that a few share them as well. But the great majority just keep what they learn to themselves. If you are one of them, don’t do that. Share what you receive with others and see how you are blessed. I don’t get paid for doing these reflections; I do them out of love for Jesus. But if you want to do reward me for blessing you, bless others. Share these everyday.

You will not only have my gratitude but God’s as well because it is his word you are spreading.