I consider generosity to be one of my core values. It is also one of five core values for the church that I pastor. Usually, when we think of generosity and giving, it is in terms of money or resources. Though it should never be our motivation, I believe that we always get back more than we give. Unfortunately, this has been taught in manipulative ways to make people believe if they give $10 they will get $100 or $1,000 back. That very well may happen, but there is no formula for this.

Sometimes the return for giving comes in a completely different form than what we gave. There will be some people who will argue that you cannot plant an apple seed and get oranges and thus if you give money then you will get money back. But it is so much more than that. You do not plant an apple seed and get an apple. You first get an apple tree long before you get an actual apple. A tree that provides shade. A tree that gives rest to birds. A tree for beauty that everyone can behold. Before there is any fruit to enjoy, there is a tree that brings pleasure to many. What we get in return for our generosity may provide so many other things before we realize there is a financial blessing.

One of the verses that gets quoted frequently about giving and receiving is Luke 6:38. It says, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:38 NLT). Is this about money? Well, it can be. If you give I truly believe you will receive more than you ever give. But I do not believe it is just about money. As a matter of fact, the two previous verses tell us some other things we can receive in return. They say, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or  it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:36-37 NLT) If we judge, we will receive judgment. If we condemn, we will receive condemnation. If we forgive, we will receive forgiveness. The principle of giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, applies to just about anything in your life. If you want to receive something, one of the best things we can learn to do is give it.

So today, practice generosity. Practice giving what you want or need to receive. Learn to offer mercy and forgiveness. Learn to pass on judgment and condemnation. Don’t stop giving money. Just learn that giving and receiving is not just about finances. It is a principle that applies to everything in life. What you give will always return more than you gave.