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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

Have you ever noticed how different ice cream shops define “1 scoop”? I’m not making a statement in judgment upon these important establishments of our culture. I have many friends in the ice cream business and in no way intend to offend them.

However, when I’m in a new town I always like to check out the ice cream shop. Some places use a large scoop to dish up their irresistible treats. Some use a small scoop. There’s one place in northern Wisconsin where I suggest that unless you are dying and this is your last dish of ice cream, you only order 1 scoop. Ever! This place (and I’ll let you try to discover it on your own!) defines ‘1 scoop’ the way most places define 2 or 3 scoops! It’s amazing and it’s made right in the shop so it’s nice and fresh and creamy.

We were camping at a campground where they had a small ice cream counter. The owner was a friend and usually dished up ice cream for us. One day, one of her employees dished up the ice cream and it was about 1/3 the size of what we usually got. We didn’t complain or say anything (except thank you) and went outside to enjoy our bedtime snack. Our friend came and sat with us. She looked at the ice cream bowls we had and was shocked. “Is that all she gave you? That won’t do!” she exclaimed. She took our bowls back into the building and came out with new ones heaped high with ice cream! We were so sad when she sold her campground.

That is God’s picture of generosity. God’s version of generosity has no regard for industry standards. His generosity is based on His love for us and nothing else, not our past, not our ability to repay, sometimes not even our gratitude. He just keeps blessing us.

I wonder if that’s what Jesus was thinking of when he talked about generosity, giving to the fullest measure, not holding back, not deciding if giving should be based on the other person’s ability to repay in some way.

As Christ-followers we need to be givers. We are the light of the world. We are the salt in our society. We should never allow ourselves to be out-given by those who don’t follow Christ. When Jesus speaks of giving I’m not so sure He’s only talking about financial gifts. We can give with our actions, we can give a little more of a tip to lousy service at the local restraint, we can give by helping a neighbor in need or a brother that is in a struggle. Giving isn’t just about the material things. Sometimes the emotional gifts are the most memorable.

Give as Jesus would give. Today, resolve to show the world God’s definition of generosity. Do what you can to make sure that whoever you touch today goes home with a full bowl!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I ask that you would help me to learn how to live a life of generosity according to your example. There are so many people who are hurting around me. So many times I’ve been so conscious of my own pain that I’ve failed to notice the pain of others. Empower me by your Spirit to give far and above what is expected of me because I choose to follow you. In your name I pray, Amen.

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