Cycles Of Reciprocity

imageReciprocity dictates that to whoever is given, also gives. Wikipedia defines it as responding to a positive action with another positive action. Therefore, it stands to reason that as God gives to us, we are also to give. God blesses us with spiritual gifts, eternal life and sanctification, but most importantly, He has given us His Son. Thus, we have plenty to give in return and to continue the cycle of reciprocity in the following ways:

Receive: Even though God freely gives, it is up to us to receive His gifts. For example, do we accept in faith His Son as the atonement for our sins and giver of eternal life, and do we accept His peace, joy and other promises revealed in His word, or doubt them? In summary, God gives, but will we receive (Mark 11:24)?

Reflect: If and when we receive the gifts, do we then choose to share them, or try to keep them to ourselves? I recall as a child, whenever it would snow, I would try to keep the snow in my freezer. However, it never worked, for the snow would eventually turn to a block of ice, or simply fade away. Likewise, the gifts from God we try to hoard may soon harden, or fade, for they are never meant to be kept for ourselves, but to benefit others and reflect God’s glory (Matthew 25:29).

Reproduce: How do we reproduce the divine gifts we are given? If given love, do we give love? If given joy, do we give joy? Whatever we are given, do we return and reproduce it in our lives for the benefit of others? For as we know, whenever we give to others, we give to God and whatever it is we give is returned pressed down and running over (Luke 6:38).

Application: “Play Ball!” – 2 Corinthians 9:6
If we enjoy eating at a particular restaurant, we typically return there often and refer other people to it. In addition, if we enjoy being with someone, we usually find ways to spend more time with them. However, what would happen if all we did was take from our friends and never gave anything in return? Or enjoyed a meal at a restaurant and never paid for it? Clearly, we would lose the benefits we once enjoyed. Likewise, as God graciously gives to us, why would we ever hold back from giving back to Him? Much like a game of catch between a father and child, each one takes turns throwing the ball – the question is, do we trust God to throw it back?

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