Unless you’re a professional painter, painting is a messy job. You protect whatever you don’t want painted, including yourself. You may wear painter’s overalls, old clothes, or even a hat, but odds are, you’ll still finish with paint in your hair and under your fingernails. Just as paint gets all over us, it’s impossible to bless others without blessing yourself in the process.
This concept of receiving favor when you show favor is simply part of God’s character. Way back in Genesis 12:3, when God is making those big eternal promises to Abraham, He said, “I will bless those who bless you.” It’s just a law of God – if you try to paint someone’s life with God’s love, it’s going to get all over you, simple as that. Jesus talked quite a bit about this too, when He said, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) In the Sermon on the Mount, He included, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Old Testament to New, this is how God works. You give, you get; you love, you get love; you show mercy, you get mercy.
When we give to others, why is God so intent on rewarding us? “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17) God just sees your kindness as doing Him a favor, as showing Him love! “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) If you do for the Lord, He notices and will not forget! “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)
Sometimes we see a room, or someone’s life, that needs a coat of paint, but we think, “I don’t have money, time, or energy to paint that room.” However, Scripture says, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25) If God’s word is true, which it is, can we afford not to paint that room and get covered in blessings? “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1) God is telling us to paint the corner of our world with whatever paint, or resources, we’ve been given and expect to see that same paint all over us!