Spiritual Law of Reciprocity

The Law of Reciprocity allows us to receive as a result of what we give or do. Scripture makes it clear we might receive the same thing we give, such as mercy (Mt 5:7). Or we might not receive in kind, such as receiving what we need from God in exchange for making his kingdom our top priority (Mt 6:33). Typically, however, we receive to the same degree we give. For example, if we sow more seed, we get a larger harvest (2 Co 9:6); or we’ll receive from others in proportion to our generosity (Lk 6:38).

The following gives powerful examples of reciprocity: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal 6:7-10, ESV) Notice the warning that God isn’t mocked, that reciprocity applies to everyone.

Invariably, discussion of the Law of Reciprocity leads to talk about money; how we receive in proportion to our giving or generosity. Almost all of us struggle with a mercenary approach to giving: If I give, then I’ll get. It should be obvious, however, such thoughts are the result of self-centered thinking, trying to use God’s laws for personal advantage. I suggest the law will still work if we’re motivated by selfishness, but God definitely would not be pleased with that attitude and would not add to what we receive.

Here’s the beauty of this law: If we give or serve selflessly, simply trusting God to take care of us as he thinks is appropriate, then he is free to increase what the Law of Reciprocity would normally return to us. That is, if we prove ourselves faithful by using whatever resources we have to serve in a manner that honors God, he can entrust us with more and will increase our return (see Mt 25:21, 23; Lk 6:38).

When we give or serve, we set spiritual forces in motion and we’ll experience the results, whether we receive in kind or not. Selfishness and greed are inappropriate, so they will limit the results we receive. On the other hand, as we develop godly character and learn to serve God and people in humility, he is free to bless us with far more than we need to excel in every good work and increase our resources so we can be generous on every occasion (2 Co 9:8, 11).

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9 Responses to Spiritual Law of Reciprocity

  • Pansy says:

    I’ll immediately clutch your RSS as I can not in finding your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me understand so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    • Larry Fox says:

      Yes, I have an opt-in email list. Please click “Contact Us” on this website, fill in the Contact page and click “Please add me to your email list” then you’ll receive monthly email notices of new articles, blogs and books.

  • Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you
    I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
    that go over the same topics? Many thanks!

    • Larry Fox says:

      Thank you for your comment. There may be other sources that cover similar topics, but I’m not aware of them. I regret I can’t help you with that. However, consider going to our Contact page and joining our opt-in email list to receive monthly updates on new articles and blog posts.

  • Teresa says:

    What is the difference between the Law of Reciprocity, the Law of Genesis, and The Law of Sowing and Reaping? It seems to me that they are the same.

    • Larry Fox says:

      I agree, the Law of Reciprocity and the Law of Sowing and Reaping are the same. The second paragraph of my post uses the “sowing and reaping” passage as an example of reciprocity. I’m not familiar with the Law of Genesis and can’t find any description of it, so I don’t know whether it’s equivalent to reciprocity.

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