|Grandmother's Birthday by Brenner (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you" (Luke 6:36-38).
Where else in the New Testament does Jesus speak so intimately to each of us? None of us has the same opportunities to be merciful, to love, to forgive. Jesus gives each of us different talents that match the role He assigns us. Talents come in as many varieties as there are people, and all are equally important to His perfect plan. But we must use our talents to do His will by giving away gifts we design from our own passions and from our own desire to give.
A smile is a gift when it transforms a life. A prayer is a gift when it alters the direction of a soul. Wealth is a gift when it feeds a stranger. A word of encouragement is a gift when it lifts the spirit of someone we find hard to love. These gifts seem minor to us, but their weight is measured by Jesus alone. Our small gifts given with great love are just as precious to Him as a gift given by someone we hold high, like Mother Teresa, whose arms were a gift to countless children as she held them with their last breath.
Jesus places people of His choice, not ours, in our path for us to love. We must not waste the opportunity, but move forward according to this assumption, using our free will.
Our reward will be measured on its own and against no one else's. We'll recognize that our gift was considered great in Jesus' eyes when the measure He returns to us fulfills the deepest desires of our hearts. Once again, we learn that loving acts bring us the greatest joy!
Elizabeth originally posted this as a reflection on the day's Scripture reading at her blog Clickity Click.