“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.”
This past Monday, along with the rest of the nation, I paused to stare at the sun. Rather, I paused to watch the moon pass in front of the sun producing a solar eclipse. It was remarkable – the first solar eclipse we’ve seen since 1979 and the last one we’ll see until 2023. The most amazing part of the whole event was the way that people stopped to stand in awe of nature. I was struck by the fact that we rarely stop to smell the preverbal roses. We live in a world that’s dripping with wonder. The bloom of a flower, the setting of the sun, the laugh of a baby, the embrace of a friend. The eclipse simply reminded us of a reality we live in daily – God is a generous God; he’s holding nothing back.
When God calls his people to be generous people, he’s simply calling them to reflect his nature and character to his world. However, God doesn’t simply call us to be generous, he tells us why we should embrace a posture of generosity. Listen to the way Solomon frames the invitation in Proverbs 11:24-25: “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.” The promise that accompanies the generous life is that it grows, expands, and becomes more and more beautiful. Solomon suggest two ways generosity boomerangs back on the giver. First, they are enriched. As they give, they also receive. Solomon isn’t suggesting that if you give you’ll always get back more than you gave like some failsafe investment proposition. He’s stating a principle for life – those who are generous, rarely lack. Secondly, those who are generous are “watered.” Here, he’s referring to the soul care that generous people receive. Bighearted people are surrounded by people who pour into them. What they give to others comes back to them (Luke 6:38).
God isn’t calling his people to be generous so they can receive, he’s simply telling us when we are generous we do receive. We live under the reality that we cannot out-give our lavishly generous God. When we are generous, we not only reflect God, we step into the blessing of God. Take some time today to soak in the beauty of the world we live in – and appreciate it as a form of God’s generosity to you. Listen to this great song that points us to the wonder of our world. When we recognize that God has been generous to us, we are motivated to be generous to others… and God has been extravagantly generous!
By Ryan Paulson