At a gas station one day, Staci encountered a woman who had left home without her bank card. Stranded with her baby, she was asking passersby for help. Although unemployed at the time, Staci spent $15 to put gas in the stranger’s tank. Days later, Staci came home to find a gift basket of children’s toys and other presents waiting on her porch. Friends of the stranger had reciprocated Staci’s kindness and converted her $15 blessing into a memorable Christmas for her family.
This heartwarming story illustrates the point Jesus made when he said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).
It can be tempting to hear this and focus on what we get out of giving, but doing so would miss the point. Jesus preceded that statement with this one: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (v. 35).
We don’t give to get things; we give because God delights in our generosity. Our love for others reflects His loving heart toward us.
Of all the difficult sayings of Jesus, this is one of the hardest: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” (Luke 6:35). How can Christ expect this? Actually, He’s asking us to emulate the love of our Father in heaven, who loved us despite our animosity toward Him. The apostle Paul explains, “While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). God loved us despite the ugly reality of our rejection of Him and His loving directives. Now, having been forgiven, we have every incentive to give to others at every opportunity, especially to those who hate us. Jesus’ concluding words here can frighten or encourage us, depending on how we live our lives: “For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”—by God Himself (Luke 6:38).