Law of Exchange

The Law of Exchange could be summed up by simply saying, “There is NO FREE LUNCH.”

A better definition is that every act of giving produces a debt or imbalance. In order to restore balance an exchange must take place. Something of equal or greater value is given back. The value is determined by the one receiving and can be in any form that equates to value for them. The basic law operates between individuals—I give to you and you give back to me.  You can‘t just be a receiver and not a giver, when that happens there is an imbalance that upsets the flow of life as God designed it. Let me make it clear that this is different than Robert Cialdini’s Law of Reciprocation. I understand Professor Cialdini’s observation that when someone is given something they feel obligated to give back.

Hope-Mongers use this feeling of obligation to manipulate people. They offer meaningless information, articles, ebooks or mp3 much like the Krishna’s did with offering flowers or books back in the 70’s while reaching out their hand expecting something back. This is not the correct application of the Law. Whatever is given must provide value in order to be worthy of a response. Then the response wouldn’t be out of obligation, it would be out of thankfulness for receiving something of worth.

In the Law of Exchange both parties agree that the benefit was at least mutual or better.

God is the One Who teaches us about the Law of Exchange, but most people don’t get it. God’s creation operates on balance. Our human bodies are great example of balance. If the body expends energy in light of work or exercise, something must come back in equal to or greater value than was expended. The slightest chemical imbalance in the physical body can be devastating.

The Tithe is another great example. God asks us to give 10% which produces an imbalance which God corrects by sending back to us a return equal or greater than that which was given, in God’s case it is always a blessing greater than what was given.

The Scriptures provide a great source of information that people never see. People think that God gives and gets nothing back, or that we give to God and should want nothing back. While that may sound noble, it doesn’t fit with what God created. Let me show you some examples.

In the Gospel of Luke chapter 5 is says:
Luke 5:1-7
1. And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him (Christ) to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2. And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land.
   And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will
    let down the net.
6. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.
    And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Here is how this works. Christ was teaching by the sea and because of the crowd, he needed a better place to speak from. Peter and company had been fishing all night and caught nothing so they were docked and tending to their equipment. Christ asked Peter if he could use his boat and Peter agreed. Now Peter has given something—the use of his boat which has produced an imbalance. Most people would say that Peter was happy to do this anyway, because after all, it was given to Christ. But that’s not the way God works. So how do you give something of value to a fisherman? You fill up his boat with fish. Christ was not only operating the Law of Exchange, he was teaching Peter a lesson—you can never out-give God.

You will notice that after using the boat Christ told Peter to go fishing and to cast out his NETS (plural). Peter, not wanting to make a scene told Christ that they had fished all night and the fish were not running, but to make him happy, Peter would let down ONE NET.  Immediately the net was full so that not only was Peter’s boat filled with fish, but the partner’s boat as well.

Later in Mark chapter 10 after Christ had confronted a rich man for TRUSTING in his riches, Peter reminded Christ that he and the disciples had left everything, given up everything for God.  In my “God Wants You to Prosper Foundational Class” I explain this section in great detail but for now let’s just focus on this Law of Exchange.

Peter thought Christ was telling the rich man to give up everything and follow him, so Peter jumps in and says, “Hey, we’ve done that. We gave it all up and followed you. See how cool we are?”

But the Law of Exchange would have been violated and that exactly why Christ immediately corrects Peter and tells him that there is nothing that anyone gives up that God does not give back a hundredfold, both NOW and in the future. Christ didn’t want the rich man to have nothing. He wanted the rich man to trust God and not his riches. By giving his riches up, Christ said that God would have blessed him back a hundredfold. People say salvation is free, eternal life is free, forgiveness is free. Maybe it didn’t cost YOU anything but somebody certainly paid for it. God gave His only begotten Son for us. That created an imbalance in the Law of Exchange. We start to correct that by giving our love and our lives back to God, it is all part of the exchange.

Someone may read the verse that says “Freely you have received, freely give” and say that doesn’t fit the Law of Exchange. But this fits perfectly with the Law. I may have received something freely from God, meaning it didn’t cost me, but it still creates an imbalance which I am supposed to resolve by freely giving to others. Hope-Givers give as they should and what they give is profitable to all around them, but they are not expected to give everything away without compensation. Just as the baker told the Hope-Seekers that they should continue to buy his bread and at the same time he would teach them what they needed to know so they could sell their own bread. That brings us to the next Law—the Law of Fair Value.