“You can’t get blood out of a turnip”. Ever hear that saying? Unfortunately, we usually hear this from someone who owes us money.
That statement in essence is expressing a profound universal truth – “You cannot give what you do not have”. It is true that you can give away only what you have first received.
Our materialistic culture would suggest otherwise, as they encourage you to give money that you currently do not have, to obtain something immediately. We term this transaction “credit”, and while we understand this process in financial terms, it really doesn’t change the Universal Truth that you can’t give what you don’t have (No matter what our national debt may suggest to you). But this debt culture has been proven not to be universally true. When people cannot pay back their debt they become locked into paying large amounts of interest along with what they owe, and they risk becoming “bankrupt”. Thus, you have encountered one of the greatest traps of financial bondage that our materialistic culture can offer.
Don’t buy that lie; resist the urge to have everything right now. Most times it’s best to wait till you have the money up front, and then you can buy whatever it is that you think you need.
That is true in finances, and it’s also true in our spiritual lives as well…. “You can’t give away what you do not have”.
The only “credit” to lean on in our spiritual lives is that which Christ has already done for us. But remember, it’s not our righteousness now that we possess, but His.
I re-learned this truth recently during a conversation with an elderly woman:
– Although she is well advanced in age, she was deeply saved just in recent years. So, only recently had she received God’s grace and forgiveness in her life. Therefore, she is now able to offer forgiveness to those in her life who have deeply hurt her. For example: she was able to offer forgiveness to a cheating husband & to the woman with whom he cheated. The ability to genuinely forgive them made a deep impact on the two people she forgave. In fact, they just can’t wrap their minds around it; it’s deeper than anything they have ever experienced.
Phycologists tell us that “hurt people hurt people”. Therefore, the converse should also be true: People given grace, should offer grace. Forgiven people should forgive; and loved people should be able to offer love.
If we attempt to act lovingly or act like we forgive people and actually have not personally experienced those ourselves; we discover that it is quickly found to be a phony, a cheap imitation of the real thing; and we experience emptiness and depletion like we’ve never known.
For Christians this means that we live out (give out) the fruits of the Spirit, because they are exactly what God has given us and is developing in us.
All this to say: If we aren’t offering the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives, possibly we haven’t fully received them ourselves. And, if we have received them, we find that we are not able to keep them to ourselves.
The Apostle Paul says…the God of all comfort comforts us SO THAT we may comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received in Christ (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
He also reminds us that you and I have a Ministry of Reconciliation, but only if we ourselves have first been reconciled to Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
You can only pass on what you yourself have received. So………
– If you are having trouble forgiving people, expressing love to people, being generous with other people, or offering comfort and encouragement to others; maybe it’s time to make sure that you are on the receiving end of those things from your Heavenly Father.
You can’t get blood out of a turnip….and you can’t give away what you don’t have.