All criminal activities violate the Law of exchange. Criminals seek to receive without paying anything in return—leaving them without value in society. Prisons are generally designed to address the cause of negative violation of the Law of Exchange. Poverty also results from negative violation of the Law of Exchange.
Many are the penalties—suffered when negatively violating the law of exchange in current civilization. Receiving benefits without paying anything in return, can be criminal. In our current civilization there is nothing for free. Anything of value needs to be exchanged with something of equal value.
Those giving people free handouts, appear as practicing classic example of positive violation of the Law of Exchange. But such behaviour bestows the benefactor with unfair advantage of being treated as Lord, where the beneficiaries are susceptible to degradation.
Recipients of free handouts, are the ones negatively affected, as being subjected to serfdom. All this is due to inability to appreciate that value comes from giving, instead of receiving. Obviously, no-one likes to be associated with poverty.
However, not all street beggars can necessarily be categorized as violators of the Law of Exchange. The degeneration in value occurs, when the person concerned pretends to be at a disadvantage, when the opposite is true.
The most important datum is that value cannot be compared with the benefit that a person enjoys, at any given time. To illustrate this point, let me use an analogy, by suggesting that a fruit tree is more valuable than a fruit-eater.
A fruit-eater finds value in a fruit tree, as he/she enjoys the fruits, without paying anything back to the fruit tree. Yet a fruit tree generously produces fruits that benefit fruit-eaters, who find the fruit tree valuable—due to its fruit production.
The fruit tree, in return, finds no value in fruit-eaters. Therefore, fruit trees positively violate the Law of Exchange. But the significance of the analysis of such value can only be experienced by human beings, created in God’s image.
The value derived in what gives benefit to genuine beggars—if there are any—is compensated in blessings, associated with benevolent practices. Anything of value, benefitting others, in real need, tips in favour of the giver.
The receiver benefits but the giver also benefits in terms of being granted an opportunity to also add value. If you give a disadvantaged person, something valuable, you get privileged with an eternal blessing. The disadvantaged person may also become valuable, through your benevolence.
God wouldn’t be God, without providing us with most of what we cannot reciprocate Him for. This is why giving is more blessed than receiving (Acts 20:35). Practicing Godly principles fulfils the significance of value in giving.
The Good Samaritan who helped a victim of robbery, in time of need, appears as having been prejudiced (Luke 10:29-37). Yet the value that accrued to the same Good Samaritan was more important than imaginable.
The noble conduct of the Good Samaritan—linking with Godly character—portrays benefits that cannot be recompensed. The Good Samaritan may have had other important business activities, ahead of helping the injured person.
His judgment was that the opportunity to serve a fellow human being in desperate need was more important. The positive violation of the Law of exchange depends on the value that is given to people in such desperate needs.
However, any form of reciprocation coming from the receiver, cancels out any value that accrues to the giver. Value in human beings is dependent upon what is given to those in need, without, necessarily, receiving anything in return.
A spacious residential property—whether donated, or bought with high sums of money—does not add value. As value is measured by what is given to those in need. The value of the notable wealthiest business-people, is not quantified in monetary terms and wealth in their respective possessions.
Their value is in how many people benefit from their inventions, or whatever business activity, leading to such wealth. Most people benefiting from the Microsoft services, may not even be aware of how much they owe to the inventor, Bill Gates, for instance.
The state of poverty with such people is measured according to their failure to appreciate the value of the services of Bill Gates’ Microsoft Windows. Their failure to appreciate Microsoft services—though, possibly, exploiting such services—negatively violates the Law of Exchange.
The negative effects of violation of the Law of Exchange affects them. Ordinarily, those people appear as privileged—when accessing valuable things for free. But the same people are exposed to the consequences of negatively violating the Law of Exchange. This leaves them without value, as compared with the person from whom they accessed benefit.
This is the point missed by most people from the Third World countries. Receiving things for free, from the developed nations makes recipients assume that they would be receiving value, when the opposite would be true.
The benevolent countries get away with the value of being superior to those receiving things for free. Even, driving a Mercedes Benz has got no advantage of value, necessarily. However, this appears so—to those failing to appreciate an element called value.
The Mercedes Benz is valuable, due to its expensive features that make the person driving it feel good. But the person driving that Merc has his/her personal value derived in what he/she gave, in return for that vehicle.
In the business world, such people are treated highly by the manufacturers of such luxurious vehicles. They would have exchanged value, in terms of the amount of money that they parted with, to purchase such vehicles.
Now comes the pertinent question: Is the person driving the Mercedes Benz valuable to those in his/her surroundings, or not? Being treated with respect, only because of the type of vehicle owned, has got nothing to do with the value that the owner of the vehicle ought to have.
That person’s value is measured according to benefits received by others in that person’s surroundings. Value is dependent upon what others in one’s surrounding areas receive from one. This is the point missed by most people.
The value of physical properties owned by some people from third-world nations could surpass—by far, those owned by people from developed nations. Yet that may exactly be what degrades nations of such owners to remain third-world.
The label of being classified as third-world, is not necessarily a curse, but an effect of violating the Law of Exchange. What value can other people receive from one’s existence? The answer to this question is different from the question: What value can one get from other people’s existence?
The latter question borders on criminality, whose negative consequences could be in this life or in the life to come. Let us not forget that when genuinely receiving aid—executed out of genuine consideration of plight—that may not necessarily be violation of the Law of Exchange.
Appreciating granted benefits—whether communicated or not—adds value to the giver—just as the receiver enjoys such services. The Law of Exchange would not have been violated under those circumstances.
Both the giver and the receiver benefit. The giver benefits in terms of adding value, thereby, being adulated for his/her ingenuity. The receiver, who would have benefited—also gives in terms of idolizing the giver—if unable to equally pay back for such goods or services.
However, the receiver would have negatively violated the Law of Exchange, when failing to adequately appreciate the value of the giver. Under those circumstances, the receiver remains disadvantaged. This is why giving is advantageous—as more blessed than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Does this mean the fatherless and widows remain with disadvantage, when receiving without paying anything in return? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world”(James 1:27) (ESV).
Under such circumstances, the advantage accruing to the giver is quantified in eternal value. Here we have a classical example of the effects of positive violation of the Law of Exchange. The only reason why this principle has got few takers is that, it represents what is not common in the current civilization.
Considering that the concerned widows would have received anonymously, they would direct their gratitude to God, instead. That behaviour keeps them attached to God who is, accordingly, given due glory—thereby blessing the giver.
What James says is similar to what Jesus also taught: “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” (Matthew 6:2) (ESV).
Jesus is addressing those, having decided to follow Him. Such people represent the ideal person, having been created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). It is well-known that people give, expecting to be rewarded something, or at least being appreciated for whatever they would have given.
What most people fail to understand, though, is that positive violation of the Law of Exchange carries eternal value, accruing in favour of the giver. While appearing as benefiting from free hand-outs, orphans and widows are, actually, a blessing to the benefactor, who gives without being publicized.
However, the moment those widows idolize the giver—or somehow—pay back by way of extending appreciation to the benefactor—any value with that giver, gets nullified. All human beings were created with the value of being problem-solvers, just like their Father in Heaven is a problem-solver.
The reduction of a person’s value is in expectation of always being provided for. Poverty can be the most serious curse affecting humanity, as associated with negatively violating the Law of Exchange. This is when unable to initiate programs that benefit other people.
The person who gives on condition of being appreciated, is not different from a person who sits in expectation of always being provided for. The beggar may curse a stingy person, for not giving enough. Just as a stingy person may curse a pestering beggar, for not appreciating enough.
Value addition does not mean engaging in activities that benefit others in order to receive something in return. Most school-leavers get engaged in projects with potential to reward them handsomely. Instead of aspiring to engage in projects that award other people handsomely.
Awarding other people handsomely is what increases the value of an individual. That value does not, necessarily, accrue to those receiving the benefit given. The starting point is in identifying with the purpose for which a person was created. Copy-cats cannot be regarded as adding value, just as pretenders are fictitious.
The greatest handicap with most people is concern for personal benefits, including how other people perceive one as giving value. But, in this world, we are as different as there are multitudes donning this planet. See [Christianity serves to invalidate God’s Kingdom].
The poorest nations of the world, comprise those mostly concerned with what they receive, more than concerned with what they could give. In such nations there may be people, aware of need to exchange value. But the net balance, in such nations, is what makes them third-world.
This is why a nation is judged by how much is exported to other nations, than how much is imported, which is called Balance of Payment (BOP). The more a nation imports, the more it is adjudged as poor.
However, the more a country exports, the more it is adjudged as wealthy. This has been the case with those nations, viewed as developed, as compared with the so-called developing nations. There is no magic to it—except failure to appreciate the existence of the Law of Exchange.
You are wealthy, as long as more people benefit from you, than you benefit from them. Material possessions do not count, as long as such possessions would not bestow benefit on other people. However, it would be a different story when such possessions serve the interests of ordinary people in need.
There are three examples that a person could give out to people in need of benefits. The first one is that the person could use the advantage of whatever he/she has in exchange for money, making the person physically wealthy.
With this example, the person remains without value, whose measure emanates from positive violation of the Law of Exchange. The person benefits, just as other people also benefit from whatever services or goods offered by him. The person offers what others find appreciable—for which those other people become willing to part with their money.
On the second example, the person could also benefit by giving for free, to the needy. While the person may not necessarily receive payments from the beneficiaries. However, his/her generous giving could make him/her a demi-god.
People are susceptible to worship people whose provisions sustain their needs. If you serve people according to their needs, you can be easily worshiped, whether you like it or not. Being worshiped is a benefit to you, as being regarded very important by others makes anyone feel good.
These two examples of giving cancel out value with the person involved in such giving. The Law of Exchange would not have been positively violated. The giver, either benefits in monetary terms, for goods or services rendered. Or the person benefits in being adulated by the people benefiting from such goods or services.
However, there is the third example of giving that is despised, but living the giver with an eternal value. This is where a person gives without, either monetary return or adulation from the beneficiaries. This type of giving is the one referred to by Jesus in Matthew 6:2. And also by James in James 1:27.
This type of giving was exercised by Jesus Himself, and for which He encouraged His disciples to practice. This type of giving reflects the mind of God. It is this type of giving that carries no ulterior motive. It simply rejoices in solving the problems of humanity. See [Christianity is full time commitment].
In this type of giving, we see the positive violation of the Law of Exchange—with value that accrues to the one practicing that type of giving. Physically, this type of giving can be adjudged as abusing the person who gives. But such abuses perish with physical demise of such an individual. This is just as Jesus advised:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”(Matthew 6:19-21) (ESV).
While that kind of giving appears as foolish, among those assuming that living in this world was designed for self-benefit, it portrays eternal wisdom. The desire of everyone who lives in this world is to be in God’s Kingdom and attain eternal life.
But common sense shows that one cannot be in God’s Kingdom with a mind-set that is different from that of their Master in that Kingdom. To be in God’s Kingdom, the Law of Exchange needs to be positively violated.
This is just as in God we receive good sun-shine. What makes God to be God is that He positively violates the Law of Exchange. How much value is in air that we breathe? Let alone the value of life itself—which most of us take for granted.
Without this, supposedly, free air and free water, not a single person or any other creature could survive. God does not chase after people to pay back for these, essentially, invaluable properties of survival.
Everyone wakes up in the morning, taking up a deep breath, but without giving a second thought, as to how expensive that breath of air could be? How could we have problems in this world—if those created in God’s emerge practiced that type of benevolence, to their fellow humanity?
Amassing wealth appears wise and, basically, that is the general behaviour of humanity—in current civilization. But, the obvious foolhardiness is in failure to appreciate death—leaving these things behind (Luke 12:16-21).
The most important key to God’s Kingdom is appreciating that one was born to solve problems of humanity. We all have got different gifts and talents, by which we could solve all problems of humanity. See [Created to solve instead of creating problems]
Before his death, Steve Jobs is known to have questioned the necessity of amassing wealth in this life. This was when his abundant wealth could not serve his life at his most critical time of need.
God’s Kingdom is centred on value, associated with service—where the Law of Exchange is positively violated—giving advantage to the one practicing such life-style. This is why Jesus said one is most advantaged, when despised and taken advantage of, by others (Matthew 5:10-12). Paul also discovered this advantage:
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong”(2 Corinthians 12:10) (ESV).
Of course, this is a message that is contrary to those preaching the prosperity gospel. Or those preaching that you have to pay tithes in order to be blessed. It is a message of God’s Kingdom, preached by Jesus and the early disciples.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99