I learned the word reciprocity during my college days. I was then reading Republic Act 5527 (The Philippine Medical Technology Act of 1969) Section 27:

Foreign Reciprocity. — No foreigner shall be admitted to examination, or be given a certificate of registration or be entitled to any of the rights and privileges under this Act, unless the country or state which he is a subject or a citizen permits Filipino Medical Technologists to practice within its territorial limits on the same basis as the subjects or citizens of said country or state.

It stated that no any foreign national can practice their profession here in the Philippines unless their country lets Filipinos practice Medical Technology in their territory in return. It is fair enough, I should say, since other countries are also looking for Clinical Laboratory Scientists (U.S.A.) and HAAD-licensed Medical Technologists (Middle East).

Furthermore, I had also encountered reciprocity when I studied Real Estate a year ago- Republic Act 9646 (Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines) Section 24:

Foreign Reciprocity. No foreign real estate service practitioner shall be admitted to the licensure examination or be given a certificate of registration or a professional identification card, or be entitled to any of the privileges under this Act unless the country of which he/she is a citizen specifically allows Filipino real estate service practitioners to practice within its territorial limits on the same basis as citizens of such foreign country.

It is quite similar with the one formerly mentioned, only that the latter is a different profession. All in all, almost every profession that is practiced in the country has its corresponding foreign reciprocity.

So what am I trying to say here?

The word reciprocity has gained importance in my everyday life. I can say, with utter certainty, that in order for us to receive blessings in abundance, we should learn how to give generously, freely, and cheerfully. That is what I call, “The Give and Take Reciprocity”. Let me present an analogy.

A man keeps and values his possessions so much. He thinks that by holding these material things, say, money, jewelries, a house, a car, or any material possession, can make himself financially secure, or assured of his future, or he won’t be in deep water when the going gets tough. Metaphorically, he deliberately closes his hands, so tightly, thinking that those things are his treasured possessions. He believes those are all he needs in order to live and enjoy life. Because of this, he refused to give.

Time passes and he lives the same life he has lived, with the same amount of possessions, the same “financial stability”, the same mediocre life, with the same mindset. He doesn’t open his hands for he fears that he would lose something that is his. He wants to keep them all for himself. Little did he know that there are greater blessings that should have landed on his hands should he opened them by the time he was so confident that he has everything he needs, and that he was okay with it. There have been many times when chances for a better and more prosperous life were given to him, but he missed them because he thinks that when he let them go, he will live in misery.

Logically thinking, how can that man receive more if his hands are closed?

The reciprocity of life is portrayed in our ability to open our hands wide enough to give, and wide enough to receive. This fact is also counted as a law of balance in our nature: The sun rises at dawn but eventually sets at dusk. The heat of the day is replaced by the coolness of night; there is darkness after the light. The animals in the wild are under the laws of ecology- they eat and are being eaten. People’s cries are followed by laughters; there is joy after sadness. And as we give, we are to receive. In the law of nature, there is balance. In everything and everywhere, there is a reciprocal equivalent, there is fairness.

If we, the doubtful and the fearful ones, cannot trust this mandated balance, then we are fated to live in mediocrity, ordinarily. Like the man in the analogy, we can never have the extraordinary life that we have always wanted if we cannot trust the One who is the author of this natural balance on earth.

God is the maker of everything that we have, and it is but right and fair if we know how to return to Him what is ought to be His. We should not forget what He said in the Bible in Proverbs 3:9-10 which is called the “Principles of Plenty”:

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

God is not unjust to not give us His abundant blessings if we know how to give back to Him. If we just learn how to open our hands to give to the poor, to give support to those who need help, to share a word of encouragement to the hopeless, to bring our tithe to church, to give love to those who are feeling left out, then see if God will not open the heavens and shower us with His abundant riches!

God is also clear about giving, out of the pure intention of our hearts:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

Giving is not just about money. It can also be in the form of words or actions for those who who need them. If we want a wealthy and extraordinary life, then believe in the rich and extraordinary God who is “able to bless us abundantly” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Don’t settle for earthly gains. What matters most is our heavenly wealth that is intended for us in eternity.

 

© CJDP 2016

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