“Freely Ye Have Received, Freely Give”

Why did Jesus instruct His representatives to travel without money and without provisions (without purse or scrip)? (See Matthew 10:9-10, Mark 6:8-9, Luke 9:3, Luke 10:4.) Why did He give the same instruction to His representatives in modern times? (See Doctrine and Covenants 24:18, Doctrine and Covenants 84:77-78, 86.)

I’ve written before about two possible reasons for this instruction:

  1. To keep them humble. Asking for help requires us to overcome our pride: “Give Me to Drink”.
  2. To give other people opportunities to serve: Purse nor Scrip.

Today, I’ve been pondering a third reason. Just before providing this instruction, Jesus told them what He wanted them to do: preach the gospel and heal the sick. Then He said, “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

When we are the recipients of unmerited blessings, we are more inclined to be generous. When King Benjamin taught his people how they should treat beggars, he did so by eliminating the difference between the beggar and the giver:

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay….

And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

Mosiah 4:19-21

Today, as I find opportunities to give and to serve, I will remember how I and my family have been the beneficiaries of gifts from others and from God. I will remember that we are also beggars, that we have received needed help which we did not earn. I will strive to give as freely as I have received.

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