A Collection of Ideas and Corroborations

Alright, here is where I’m going to be putting a lot of the information that I come across in my daily readings and studies of life in general.

Mainly this is going to be for the stuff that I find that seems to agree with and perhaps even further explain the Biblical principles laid down by Christ in the New Testament.

It’s beginning to appear, to me at least, that Jesus was not merely updating the law for the new covenant. He wasn’t just giving us a new set of rules to live by. I think he was doing more than that. I believe he was actually explaining and revealing many of the governing principles of the universe itself.

One such principle appears to be the law of giving. Jesus said that we should be “cheerful givers,” and I have found at least one other source that suggests that this is something everyone should do, not just Christians.

It even seems to tie into the Karmic principle of cause and effect, reaping and sowing. The source that bears out the idea of “cheerful giving” is a book called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. Chapter 2 of the book is entitled “The Law of Giving.”

A couple of quotes from the book follow: “The more you give, the more you will recieve, because you will keep the abundance of the universe circulating in your life. In fact, anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given.”

“If, through the act of giving, you feel you have lost something, then the gift is not truly given and will not cause increase. If you give grudgingly, then there is no energy behind that giving.”

“Practicing the Law of Giving is actually very simple: if you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation; if you want material affluence, help others to become materially affluent.”

This seems to all fall directly in line with several ideas: the karmic idea of cause and effect, the Biblical law of sowing and reaping, and the idea that if you give to God and his children, you open yourself more fully to recieve his blessings.

The main verses that seem to apply here are from Malachi chapter 3, beginning with verse 8:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes, and in offerings. You are under a curse–the whole nation of you–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

That’s all I have for now. If I find more on the subject, I will update this post at a later time. This is but one of many things that I have been seeing come up from multiple secular sources as well as the Bible. Bearing out my theory that Jesus explained many universal laws that underly the conscious, sense-driven world.

Comments

An enthralling subject line should go here.

As Paul McCartney succinctly rhymed in The End, "[I]n the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Anyway, two questions: first, is it wrong to give partly out of anticipation of the Lord's "open[ing] of the floodgates of heaven," and second, why does God allow the acquisition of material wealth through means other than selflessness?

Thanks :)

Hey Anonymous, thanks for your comment. (Who are you, by the way, anyone I know in real life, or just someone who happened by?)

In answer to your first question: I believe that based on what God said in Malachi--"test me in this"--he was somewhat expecting people to give in anticipation of recieving back from God.

So I do not believe that is wrong. However, if you are using it as an investment, if the only reason you are giving is because you expect to get back more than you gave, then you may be in trouble. Not in the sense of having sinned, but more in the sense that you probably won't get it back.

I believe the point is the difference between anticipation and expectation. If you give in anticipation of God's blessings, then you will be watching eagerly for the return in your life, and you will feel joy when it comes.

If you give out of expectation, you will be watching for the blessing, but you'll be tapping your foot, thinking something like, "If God doesn't bless me in return for my giving, then he's a liar and I'm not giving anymore."

Anticipation is eager, joyous, and unattached to a specific result. Expectation is impatiant, critical, and attached to the results it wants. Can you see the difference?

So yes, we should absolutely give out of anticipation of blessing, God wants us to. But we should be aware of our thoughts and attitudes and beware of giving out of expectation.

To answer the second question:

Material wealth is simply one aspect of life. True wealth is a combination of aspects, relationships, money, time, spirit.

If someone chooses to pursue money exclusively, then often it seems that God will honor that choice and allow them to acquire money. However, isn't the stereotype of a rich miser a person who has acquired money, but nothing else? Aren't many rich people unhappy because they thought money would fill the emptiness inside them, and now that they have it they realize that it won't?

I believe that only through giving and recieving, sowing and reaping, can you build a fortune while at the same time building character as well. Often the giving route is harder. It requires more persistance, more depth of character, and more willingness to confront one's personal issues. But in the end, I believe the reward is worth far more than mere money.

Just a brief note: Bill Gates in the richest man in the world right now, he has built and maintained a massive fortune. He is also one of the most philanthropic people in the world, maintaining one of the largest charitable organizations out there right now.

Even those who have gained "unhappy money" through less than heroic means may regain the parts of their life they have ignored through giving away that which they've horded. Or so it seems to me. In A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge regained the happiness he had left so far behind when he began to give of what he had, give without expectation of recieving back. Giving to those who could not give back even if they wanted.

He gave deeply of what he had, money, and gained deeply of what they had, love, respect, friendship. He opened himself up through giving. That is what giving in a spirit of anticipation does, opens us up to recieve, through whatever channel God chooses.

Hopefully that helps :)

Take care!

Nathan

Indeed.

Thanks for your reply, Nathan. Regarding the first question, I disagree with the semantics of the distinction you draw between "anticipation" and "expectation," but I see the point you're making, and agree with it. With giving, right motives are as important as right actions.

As for the second question, I agree with your points, but I think you avoided answering directly as to why God actually allows selfish acquisition of wealth (as opposed to letting wealth reach the hands of the selfless only). I agree with many that this is an example of the free will God has given us, which allows us to discover the futility of our own actions so that better characters may be developed.

Hey again. Thanks once more

Hey again. Thanks once more for your response, discussion is good, and I enjoy it a lot.

I'm interested in knowing what "anticipation" and "expectation" mean to you. Perhaps they mean something different to you than they do to me, and we can reach a full understanding through the use of different words.

If not, then I'm willing to agree to disagree.

In what I talked about concerning the second question you asked, I believe what I was trying to get across is that monetary wealth is not really the measure of wealth, there are a number of things that must be looked at to determine whether an individual is truly wealthy. I would argue that anyone who pursues and achieves material riches through selfish means does not, in fact, achieve wealth (true wealth) through those selfish means. They may acquire a lot of money and things, but they are missing things that make their life far less than it could be.

Now it does seem that through changes in their attitudes, beliefs, and motives, they can get back on the path to true wealth and happiness, but without those changes, I don't believe they are truly wealthy.

So, my point is that I don't believe there IS an acquisition of TRUE wealth through selfish means.

That said, this brings up another interesting bit of philosophy. To say that God allows something is to assume that there are things He doesn't allow. Considering the widespread depravity of society today, the war, the famine, the evil and hate, I would venture to say that what God allows is this: He allows mankind to use his free will in whatever ways he chooses, and through free will, man shapes his world while living within the laws of nature that God put in place.

That is what I believe.

I believe it is a misnomer to say that God "allows" evil to exist and bad things to happen. In one sense he does, but only in the sense that he allows man free reign in the world. He allowed Adam and Eve the choice in the garden which led to the creation of evil (evil being defined as that which is opposite of God, who is love).

I have an entire theory based in the garden of eden which I believe sheds interesting light on the ideas of sin and evil, as well as good, but that's another discussion for another post.

God created man in His image, and He has allowed man to create the world in his image. The world is divided, confused, corrupt, full of sorrow, hate and conflict. It is spiritually blind, writhing in the internal agony and frustration of losing sight of the Way of Life.

The reason the world is like this is because man is like this. Yet there is still hope in the world, and still light in the world, because there is still hope inside people, and because we still have the same potential for lightness that we have for darkness. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, because Jesus is God, and God is Love.

 --Nathan

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