One of the finest Bible study students I’ve ever had is my wife, Sharon Barnett Bartel! I walked by her this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” and she was having her own devotions. She made the following comment, “People who read Luke 6:38 need to pay more attention to the context! It’s NOT just about giving money!” And in interpreting the Bible properly and accurately, Sharon is exactly right… Context is critical!
The verse? “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!”
The context? Well, read it for yourself…
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 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. 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 6:27–38 ESV)
Hey, it’s about more than just money! The truth is sobering but true! I’d probably express it this way…
What you dish out is what you’ll get back (and MORE)! Make sure what you’re dishing out is positive, loving, merciful and generous! Deal with your own stuff before you start meddling in other people’s affairs!
My personal response? Help me Lord to NEVER forget this truth! And thank you Sharon for bringing it to my attention again today!