Read that title again. What goes around comes around, or Payback is another word for it. Is it right? NO!
and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
We need to be kind and giving toward others because of what Christ has done for us. Never should be do anything so that we will get good back in return.
In this society I am struck by the necessity to be involved so that you will receive payback. If you help out by bringing food or water to a funeral in the village, then when a family member dies you will have lots of people in the village bringing food and water to your funeral. If you decide to go to the fields on one of the days of a funeral and don’t participate, they will notice. You will be talked about. You may even be sat down by the elders in your clan and scolded for not participating.
It makes sense in some ways, but in a society of tropical illnesses, AIDS, poor health care and a high infant mortality rate, there are always funerals. Recently there were three funerals in one week in a village near us. The population is about 2000 able adults. Death is part of life here, and everyone is related to everyone. So you end up getting no work done when you need to sit at a funeral for 2-3 days. But if you don’t sit and bring food, participate in some way, it will come back to bite you.
When a young man gets married, his family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, siblings, parents) all pitch in to provide the bride-price. If it is a cow or two, some clothes, farming implements, money, chickens, food, grain, or whatever is required, the family pitches in to give. When you pitch in toward your nephew’s wedding, when your son get’s married, his parents will pitch in toward your son’s wedding.
When your daughter gets married, many of the gifts received as the bride-price are dispersed among those same relatives. You may give some corn and then a few days later receive some corn because you are related to both sides of a marriage! Read the title again!
When a husband or wife is not involved in the community as they are expected to, the other partner pays the price. The wife may pitch in whenever needed but her husband is a deadbeat. When a marriage or funeral hits their home. Some participate because of the wife and others don’t because of the husband.
So in your culture are these principals true?
Sadly I find this mentality often mixed into the Gospel. If you do this or this, then you will be saved. Give offering so that you will receive a blessing. I wish they would rather say, give an offering because you have been blessed. Give to God because you are thankful for what He has done for you. Give because we are told to give and we should obey.
Must it always be a give and take?