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Frank Jamerson

   To reciprocate means “to give and get, do, feel, etc. reciprocally; interchange… to make some sort of return for something done, given, etc.” (Webster). This describes the life God expects of a Christian. He is not simply a storehouse to receive, but a channel through which blessings are shared with others. Notice some things that Christians are to share.

   A Christian has been taught in order to teach. Jesus told the apostles to make disciples of all nations and “teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:20). Gratitude should cause the believer to want to share the good news with others. Paul told Timothy that “the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). We have not been taught just so we can learn, but to teach others. We must know the truth before we can teach others, but many are like the people described by the writer of Hebrews: For by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Heb. 5:12). When we learn and teach others, we grow.

   The Christian forgives because he was forgiven. When Peter asked, “how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Mt. 18:21), Jesus told the story of two men who owed debts they could not pay. The first man was forgiven a ten thousand talent debt, but he was unwilling to forgive his fellow servant a hundred denarii. When his master heard about that, he “delivered him to the tormentors until he should pay all that was due him.” Then Jesus concluded, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Mt. 18:23-25). Paul told the Ephesians to be “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

   The Christian has received love and should give it. The apostle of love wrote, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). We show our love for God by “keeping His commandments” (1 Jn. 4:3), and by loving our brethren (1 Jn. 4:21). The person who says he loves God, but does not keep His commandments in not telling the truth (1 Jn. 2:3,4), nor is one who says that he loves God but does not love his brother (1 Jn. 4:20). Jesus, Himself, said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:34,35).

   The Christian is comforted in order to comfort others. The Corinthians were told that the God of comfort, “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:3,4). The person who has overcome a “thorn in the flesh” can empathize with those who are suffering similar trials. Just the knowledge that you have been there, and care, can be very encouraging to one who is experiencing the thorn at the moment.

   Those who receive but never give, are never happy, just as those who are willing to give, but not receive, are unhappy. The Christian should learn to give and receive—both are evidences of humility and essential to enjoying the happiness that God has made available through reciprocal action.


                       Copyright Midway Church of Christ 2014    This page last modified July 03, 2014