Giving is Receiving

Task 44

There is a spiritual law that says: “Inflow adjusts itself to outflow.” Swedenborg – Secrets of Heaven #5828 Jesus put it this way: “For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 Again he said: “Freely you have received, freely give” Matthew 5:42

Once there was a property that had a well. The well had not been used for years. Eventually the property was vacant and the well was idle. A person bought the property, saw that there was a well and decided to reopen it. It was totally dry, and try as he would, he could not get the water to flow again. The new owner went to an expert who explained that if these underground water channels do not flow, eventually they seal up, and the well runs dry.

You can think of the well as the reservoir of gifts from God. If we don’t draw from that well to give to others, the flow stops. Inflow adjusts itself to outflow.

It is similar with electricity. When an electrical appliance is unplugged there is no flow of energy into it. As you use the electricity, more flows in.

They say that the best way to learn a subject is to teach it. As you make an effort to share information with others, you don’t lose what you know. You gain. If you want to really learn the Bible, teach Sunday School.

I once asked a woman what she thought of this idea that giving is receiving. She then told me about how she had adopted a child, and had intentionally selected one who was handicapped. I then asked her if she got anything back. She said: “I got so much more back than I gave, that I almost felt guilty about being involved in an unfair deal.”

What about the other side of the task, to receive is to give? Imagine a child giving his father a father’s day gift. How different it is for the child if the father receives the gift joyfully, compared to looking at it, and brushing it aside. To receive well is to give.

I have noticed when visiting a friend in hospital, I often go away feeling that I have received more than I gave. By allowing me to spend time with them, the patients have provided me with a gift. By allowing me to give to them, they give to me.

When you receive something, notice what you are giving. When you give something to someone this week, notice what you are receiving.