Nothing in Return

by Jan Silvious

Nothing in Return

As a Sunday school teacher and conference speaker who teaches the Word of God to others, I have sometimes found myself in the hot seat being tested on lessons I have taught!

One such occasion occurred shortly after I had delivered a thorough exposition of Luke 6:34: "And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full."

Then the Lord said to me, "OK, Jan, let's see what you have learned."

Since it was my practice to pick up one of my sons after football practice, we inevitably ended up with a carful of youngsters. Giving the other boys a ride never bothered me until I observed them piling into another car one day when I picked up my son.

"Did they ask if you needed a ride?" I asked. And when he replied that they had not, I proceeded to blow a fuse, telling him that unless they could share rides equally, his friends would just have to find another way home. Amidst instructions that he was to tell his friends, "No more free rides!" my son was obviously relieved when we pulled into the driveway and he could escape my preaching.

By the next day I had forgotten all about my irritation. But when I arrived at school to pick up my son, our former hitchhikers walked right past my car and across the parking lot.

Bewildered, I asked my son, "Where are they going?"

"They're going to walk the six miles, Mom. Remember? I told them what you said."

At that point, the Holy Spirit put His finger on my heart and brought to mind the very lesson I had just taught: "Lend...without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great" (v. 35). Needless to say, I went after the boys and insisted on giving them a ride. And when we got home, I confessed to my son that I had been wrong and that if anyone ever needed transportation, we would gladly provide it, "expecting nothing in return." My mercy has been stretched to the limit a time or two, but I know I am acting in obedience.

Is there an area in your life that does not truly reflect righteousness? Often it is the "little things" that trip us up, that others can point out as inconsistent with our claim to be Christian.

Ask God to reveal the cracks and crevices of your heart where the little things are hidden. And while you're at it, why not ask Him to bring them out into the Son-light and expose them for what they are.

From the 5-Minute Devotional ©Zondervan 1991