In Luke 14:12-14, Jesus encouraged his followers to be generous with those who cannot return the favor, because He understood that we can all be driven by what we can get out of a relationship rather than what we can give to it. But, Jesus was not merely giving good advice, He was talking about the sort of generosity that He came to demonstrate in His own life. The good news of the gospel begins with the generosity of a God who gave His Son to save sinners who were unworthy. This generosity could never be repaid or reciprocated, only received with gratitude and then reproduced by being passed on. Our capacity to be generous - especially towards those who cannot reciprocate – says more about the impact of the gospel on our lives and our walk with God, than anything else we do.
BUT, generosity does not merely come in dollars and cents – that can sometimes be an easy way out for those of us who have lots of money. Matthew 5:16 refers to the time we give in doing good works, and how what we do should bring glory to the Lord. Matthew 5:43-48 talks about loving our enemies so that we will become perfect like our heavenly father. And, Philippians 2 talks about the extravagance of God’s love – demonstrated in Jesus when He left the riches of heaven to live in the slums on earth – all because He wanted to win our hearts.
Yet, RECIPROCITY is not a sin in itself.
Rather, it is an important part of what it means to be the Body of Christ. How can we care for and support and look out for one another without the generosity going both ways? The problems only begin when we start measuring our generosity and developing a strategic mindset that seeks to get the best return for our money or time. If God had done that, we’d all be on the trash pile.