One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
– Proverbs 11:24 & 25
It just doesn’t make sense. Give away riches and gain more. Withhold what you have and suffer want. God has different methods of economic growth than what we usually think. He blesses us when we give it away.
There is a temptation is to think of this Proverb applying to finances but ignore how it can apply to other areas of life. Sure, He does take care of us and bless us and it does ring true when we give to Him, He has a way providing for us. But I think we limit ourselves when we think of these verses only in the context of money.
How friendly are you? How often do you go out of your way to hold a door open for a stranger when you are out shopping? Or give up your space in the check-out line for someone? Or shovel snow for someone you don’t even know?
I ask these questions because I think when we go out of our way to bless other people, we end up being blessed ourselves. In God’s economy, He often rewards us when we bless other people and that also includes works we might do for others. Especially, and maybe only, when those works are done in complete anonymity and we will get absolutely nothing from those efforts.
Yet holding back on doing good – whether it’s a financial matter or something else – ends up hurting ourselves.
Don’t believe me? Then try it this week. Next time you are out shopping, give up your space in line to someone. Or randomly pay for someone’s lunch. Make it somebody who doesn’t know you and wouldn’t be able to pay you back. Begin to make a habit out of doing something – even something little for someone. Now watch, you will be the recipient of some sort of blessing in the near future. It may or may not be a financial blessing. But you will find yourself being surprised by some good fortune that you were not expecting.
On the other hand, withholding what is “yours” will result in more stress for you as you try to hold on to it, more time invested in worrying about it and in the final analysis you may end up with less than you thought.
Remember, nothing on this Earth is really “yours.” It’s all His. We just manage it for Him. He’s entrusted us with gifts, talents and abilities. What are we doing with them?
We are to be wise stewards. We are to be diligent and hard working. We are to be frugal. But we also are to be a blessing to others.