The Blessings of Giving Freely
Proverbs 11:24 (ESV) -- One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Most people think about generosity and charity from the perspective that giving money away means going without it. To give to someone else means to go without that money in our own lives. This is how most approach their relationship to money and giving. But this is not how the Bible explains it. Generosity in the Bible is not about going without, but it is a source of a blessing.
Our passage today shows us how the Scriptures talk about generosity. The proverb says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
Notice the principle taught in this proverb. A person gives freely, yet grows richer. How? Because you can’t outgive God. All wealth comes from God. If an individual gives freely and generously, God is able to bless in excess of anything he gives. Another person withholds and keeps his money, yet suffers want. Why is this a principle of money management? Because God loves a cheerful giver. Everything comes from the Lord. If we are generous with it, He is able to bless us beyond anything we give. If we withhold and attempt to horde our finances, then God can stop the flow of blessings into our lives. This entire premise hangs on the reality that God is the giver of everything.
Our own hands are not the producers of wealth. Yes, we use our gifts, but we remember who gave the gifts. God gives us the abilities, time, gifts, and opportunities. When we horde the blessings He gives us, then He does not reward that as faithfulness. When we live generously, He is pleased and provides even more. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It is a proverb. It is a general principle of living in a world ruled by God. The lesson for each of us to learn is that there are great blessings in giving freely.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does it mean to give freely?
- Why does the person who withholds go without?
- How should this passage inform our personal approach to giving finances and generosity?
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