Generous unity bringing exponential blessing
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
"Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.”
This is an amazing passage of scripture showing us that when we are generous to others, the generosity of God is poured out on us in return. We find this passage placed just after a commandment from Jesus for us not to condemn so that we in return will not be condemned, not to judge so that we in return will not be judged, and to forgive so that we might know forgiveness.
I think it is safe to assume that what Jesus is talking about us giving in this passage, is the expression of grace...the opposite of condemnation, judgement and unforgiveness. So we could say: the measure to which you administer grace (the act of favouring and honouring others, regardless of how much this is warranted or deserved) is the measure to which favour and honour are administered to you.
The act of engaging in the creative is a process of generosity. We give to others a song, a poem, a painting, a book, a screenplay. It is created to be given away. We create to administer blessing to others, we favour them by sharing our expression of creativity, we honour them with the gift of our self expression. Creatives are designed to be generous.
Paradoxically, being creative can make us feel impoverished. In the context of music for example: we are fighting against a feeling of lack. We chase likes, mentions, radio play, coverage, we vie for position on distribution play-lists and gig line-ups. We fight for our royalties. We copyright our music for fear it will be stolen. We struggle to be heard in the midst of a sea of noise. We operate in lack.
Paradoxically, being a creative can make us ungenerous. In the context of music for example: our fellow creatives (the very people who know the passion and energy that we have poured into creating music), are sometimes the slowest to celebrate us in our endeavors. We want others to succeed, but their success intimidates us. We want others to succeed, but maybe not quite as much as us. The success we ourselves enjoy was so hard fought for, that we don't feel an instinctive urge to make it easy for others.
We imagine there is a well of encouragement and honour that is already badly depleted. If we draw from it in encouraging our fellow creatives, there may be even less encouragement and honour to go round, and when it’s our turn, we could end up missing out.
We can operate from a perception of feeling slighted. I haven’t been given the encouragement and honour I deserve, so therefore I am not in a frame of mind to give encouragement and honour to those around me. Why should I give to others that which I actually deserve and crave for myself?
If we listen to Jesus’ advice, we realize that expressing encouragement, favour and honour to others is actually a sure means to our own blessing. When we celebrate and encourage one another, it actually enriches us in return. With the abundance with which we give it, it will return to us.
So let’s take it to its logical conclusion...If we collectively purpose to create for ourselves a culture in which we honour and care for one another unceasingly, we hack the system, and grace and favour pour out unceasingly. "How truly wonderful and delightful to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity!...
...This heavenly harmony can be compared to the dew dripping down from the skies upon Mount Hermon, refreshing the mountain slopes of Israel. For from this realm of sweet harmony God will release his eternal blessing, the promise of life forever!"
(Psalm 133 The Passion Translation)
We could express this in a story.
There was a man in the desert who was dying of thirst. All of a sudden, he saw a tap protruding from the ground. As he turned the tap, water started flowing out of it. He drank from it, and at the very moment his thirst was quenched, the water stopped flowing. In his experience, water was very hard to come by, so he decided that it might be best for him to keep this discovery to himself.
The next day, in secret, he turned on the tap. Nothing came out. He had a moment of conscience and decided to tell his friend about his discovery. Miraculously, as they turned on the tap together, there was enough water for them both. The following day, they both decided to each invite another friend to the secret tap. True enough, just like before, the water flowed out enough to satisfy the thirst of everyone who came to drink from it.
Then things started getting silly. They were so thrilled and emboldened, that the next day they invited hundreds of people to the tap... It exploded. Where the tap had been there was now a gushing torrent of water reaching skywards.
From that day onward no-one was able to turn off the water. It pooled and flowed into streams and rivers. It flowed away into the distance. No-one was able to count how many people were drinking from it.