Friday, May 20, 2011

The Founding Principles: The Parable of the Talents - Giving Unselfishly

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Give unselfishly
In the Parable of the Talents we looked at last week, how did the servants gain more talents? They did so by working. Working always requires that we give. The servants would have had to give thought to how they would make more money, give energy in making sure their plan was executed, give money into buying inputs so that they could receive output, give effort into making sure that whatever enterprise they chose was maintained and progressed and the list of giving goes on.

Luke 6:38 “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 unto you.”

If you give unselfishly, you will receive. This truth is not only understood by Christians but is understood and practiced by many Muslims, Hindus, agnostics and atheists alike. Just like the principle that ‘if you are faithful with little God will add to you,’ the principle of ‘giving’ is also a universal truth because the Lord “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”. (Matthew 5:45).

Successful farming requires giving
We realise that we cannot keep taking from the land without giving back to it. If we simply take from the land, never being willing to give extra effort, or put money into supplying the nutrients which we have extracted back into the soil, then we cannot expect to receive. When we give extra effort ensuring that very high standards are maintained, then we are able to reap a bountiful crop. If we are lazy and unwillingly to give this effort, standards will drop and so will yields. We must give, so that God can multiply what we have given back to us.

May this wonderful truth of giving to receive not start and end in any consumerist, ‘prosperity,’ selfish motives and attitudes. May it will be rooted and established in the love of God. Our great emphasis should be more on ‘what can I give, rather than what can I get’. This unselfish attitude comes from an understanding of Christ’s wonderful sacrificial love for us that enables us to have a pure motive of wanting to emulate His unselfishness as a gesture of our love and gratitude to Him.

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