Thursday, January 27, 2011

Measuring Up

"The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you."  - Mark 4:24

God will not be outdone in generosity.  This pithy little saying isan encouragement for usto be generous without worrying about the cost.  Rather than worrying about what we sacrifice, it is always better to trust in the generosity of God who will not allow us to suffer because of our generosity.

Still, that little clause at the end of the scripture passage from St. Mark can at times be something different than an encouragement to be generous; there is something kind of dangerous about knowing that still more will be given to us if we are generous in the sacrifices we make.  If being generous is motivated by what I am going to get in return, how generous am I, how well do I really measure up?  It seems that generosity must be somewhat inauthentic if it is motivated by the understanding that I am going to get more from God.  It would certainly be a faulty logic to be motivated to love knowing that I am going to be more loved as a result.

As we look at our lives we can see countless ways we are to love with a generosity that is deep.  There are poor people all around us who can benefit from our daily bread.  There are grieving people who need our compassion, sick people who need our comfort, people who are troubled by depression, addiction, or just plain old winter blues who need cheering up.  There are so many ways that we can give of ourselves.  How well do we measure up?  If we are at all worried about the costs of being generous with our time, our energy, our money we will always struggle to be as generous as we can be.  If we are looking forward to what we will get in return for our generosity our giving will be compromised.

Perhaps that final statement "...and still more will be given to you" is really just an encouragement to us to trust that even though we might be tired and spent because of the ways we have been generous today when we go to bed tonight, God will give us what we need tomorrow to continue living generous lives.  For God will not be outdone in generosity.

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